Not Necessarily at Rest by Lance Larsen

Rocks stacked at corners of a squatter’s camp,
colored bottles hanging from a tree.
Broken oyster shells
lining a dirt walkway to match the hems
of clouds trundling their gossip
over open-air markets towards the sea.

How can those who watch us
not be flattered at our puny attempts at beauty €”
the gods who look down, the dead
who sometimes look up? Yearning works
through us, whiskers to tail, the way
a yawning cat converts stretching into praise.

Lance Larsen will serve as Utah’s poet laureate from May, 2012 until May, 2015. “Not Necessarily at Rest” originally appeared in Backyard Alchemy (Tampa, 2009). For an introductory essay and Larsen’s bio, go here. For additional poems, go here.

One thought on “Not Necessarily at Rest by Lance Larsen”

  1. This is gorgeous. I particularly like the (unintentional? unlikely!) allusion to “Jubilate Agno” in the last two lines.

    “Not Necessarily” really gathers in nicely the elements of Larsen’s work that I tried to praise in my introductory essay: a sense of place–of wilderness–that includes domesticated and perhaps even corrupted landscape, often (and always potentially) as a symbol for the wilderness–and wildness–of selfhood: the domestication of what we are, fallen and corrupt as that might be, might itself constitute a “corruption,” even when this has pleasing consequences.


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