archives fall 2008



father of no country. I can lie.

               New York, 1970

A small fire kindled in winter,

My mother held me,
A flame cradling pine.

Nurses wrapped me in cotton.
My father pointed the Mustang forward
Like a gun.

No one told my parents the sky knew
Next to nothing—
The first of many lies.

We drove toward a one-story house
Near a frozen lake.

Below the ice, waves
Kept repeating themselves, like code.

The hills, tightening shawls,
Leaned in.


Pilgrim for rain

Songbirds in a bamboo garden, spring:
their return as much a resurrection as you could hope for.

In the Northwest, the bamboo is like everyone else:

Unlike most of us, it remembers to bow before wind.

In my sleep, I read in a book:
The literature of the proletariat has one theme: survival.

Rain in the grove, wet knives—

A voice said, looking at sparks of light on the leaves:
there is wisdom in that, if you know what to do with it.  


Sean Patrick Hill has poems appearing in Exquisite Corpse, elimae, Alba, Unlikely 2.0, and The Pedestal Magazine, and forthcoming in Willow Springs, In Posse Review, Quarter After Eight, and RealPoetik. He holds an MA in Writing from Portland State University. His past writing residencies include Oregon State University Trillium Project, Fishtrap, and Montana Artists Refuge.