May 1999

Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux Thomas Lux is the author of Split Horizon, Sunday, Half Promised Land, The Drowned River and a volume of Selected Poems.  He's won numerous awards, including the Kingsley Tufts Award.  An interview with J.M. Spalding was conducted in 1998 in New York and is forthcoming from The Cortland Review.  Mr. Lux divides his time between the NY and Boston areas.  This is his first appearance in an online magazine.
The Road That Runs Beside The River  Click to hear this poem in RealAudio

follows the river as it bends
along the valley floor,
going the way it must go.
Where water goes, goes the road,
if there's room (not in a ravine,
gorge) the river
on your right, or left. Left is better,
it's over your elbow across
the road, when you're driving.
You see the current — which is
what the river is : the river
in the river, a thing sliding faster foward
inside a thing sliding not so fast forward.
Driving with, beside, the river's flow is good;
another pleasure driving against it: it's the same river
someone else will see
somewhere downstream: same play,
new theater, different set.
Wide, shallow, fairly fast,
roundy stone streamed; stony-land river,
it turns there or here — the ground
telling it so — draining dull
mountains to the north,
migrating, feeding a few hard-fleshed fish
who live in it. One small sandbar splits
the river, then it loops left,
the road right, and the silver of it
slips under the trees,
into the forest
and over the sharp perpendicular
edge of the earth.



A Kiss    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio

One wave falling forward meets another wave falling
forward. Well-water,
hand-hauled, mineral, cool, could be
a kiss, or pastures
fiery green after rain, before
the grazers. The kiss — like a shoal of fish whipped
one way, another way, like the fever dreams
of a million monkeys — the kiss
carry me — closer than your carotid artery — to you.      

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Thomas Lux: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue SevenThe Cortland Review