you are in the diode archives winter 2010



Emergent Tree

There’s an urgency in the green that I love when I read it
like the breath from a leaf if you’re close enough

to feel it, or the round puffy cheeks of my daughter when she sleeps
in a picture taken by a phone & delivered via email

to my clandestine heart, my heart in hiding, my grey cloud heart.
The sky outside is all mixed up with tree, wishing it could feel

itself & not be itself, & it is trying to put it all down, tangled
branches a tract that it writes about bark & roots & vast

emptiness & O! I love poets with names & I love those without
& the tree is rippling in the breezy breeze because there’s this

thing it can do with itself when it wants called expulsion or
explosion then it shatters & ends up empty & I’m working

on my own people version where I hold up everything all at once
then one at a time let it drift to the ground while it burns

& I wonder if this sounds familiar to you.


Everything is a File

I’m compiling sunlight, the glint
& the gluster—extracting the whole array
of elements for later use because later

is when the current value runs pale
& the next element is not what
my pointer wants to point to.  Reset.

While my head is checking each line
for embedded comments, sorting
& stepping through the here to the then,

my fingers are doing this, doing this
while my head is sorting & stepping &
doing this—I’m doing this.  I’m creating

a vast & complicated index, I’m writing
it all down in code {it’s a secret}.
Me is a secret, me is run, me is

simple text edited with grace, looking out
the window while closing that one off,
a directory of sunlight appended to the me

blinking slowly, like a cursor: Hello, world.


Can’t Stop the Signal

Proximity increases the frequency
& duration of the beep

beep-beeping in my angry heart,
my claustrophobic head.  Load up

the rainy day escape pod,
blast off for nowhere, serene stars

blinking on against a field of black,
& you’ll see there’s a pattern

broadcast in the delicate swirls
of light.  Beep it says & it means

there are people who are long gone
that I wish were here again.  Beep

it says & it means I miss myself
most of all.  Beep & repeat

the cycle of head swim & haze
dream, the cycle of you

are the most lovely you I’ve seen today.
I would like it if our signals

were in synch for these several hours,
if we could live our lives together

this afternoon.  Beep it says
& it means let’s be everlasting today.  


Nate Pritts is the author of The Wonderfull Yeare (Cooper Dillon Books) as well as two previous full-length books of poems—Sensational Spectacular (BlazeVOX) and Honorary Astronaut (Ghost Road Press).  The founder and principal editor of H_NGM_N, he teaches poetry at the Downtown Writers Center/YMCA in Syracuse, New York.