V  P  R

VALPARAISO POETRY REVIEW
Contemporary Poetry and Poetics



 
 

~JONATHAN HOLDEN~





THE NAMES OF THE RAPIDS



 

Snaggle-Tooth, Maytag, Taylor Fallsó
long before we measured with our eyes
the true size of each monstrosity,
its name, downriver, was famous to us.
It lay in wait, something to be slain
while our raft, errant, eddied
among glancing pinpricks of sun
and every bend giving way to bend
seemed a last reprieve.
But common terror has a raw taste.
It's all banality, as when
you stare straight into a bad cutó
this sense of being slightly more
awake than you might like.
When the raft pitches sideways off
a ledge, what you land on is less
than its name.  It's a mechanism.  None
of the demented expressions
that the fleshly water forms
over that stone profile
is more than another collision,
a fleeting logic lost and
forming, now lost in the melee.
When the world is most serious,
we approach it with wholly open eyes
even as we start the plunge
and the stone explanation.
 
 

© by Jonathan Holden
 


 
 

Contributor's note
Next page
Table of contents
VPR home page