Landscape, with a Cricket’s Chirr by Tyler Chadwick

Beneath the ramble and catch
of tumbleweed: the lull of horizon
delicious with distance and elegy,

dead-ends and blue highways hoarse
with the whisper of wind, dust,
wood, bone, memory €”the grist

of solitude stirred up
the morning you woke determined
to pluck the sun from God’s thigh

as he passed, full-stride,
over this side of town. That’s
how Jacob got new-named, you say

when the story comes up with friends €”
and strangers, for that matter.
Like when you were painting

plein air roadscapes outside Redmond
and you used it to ply conversation
with the breeze as she watched you

seduce landscape from ripples of soul
stirred by her sigh. Yes, you say,
that’s how Jacob got new-named.

Nevermind it was his hip flicked
out of joint when the angel
stopped wrestling fair, wrested God

from Israel’s shank. Nevermind
your layover in Peniel via Genesis
left sand in the visions you put on

and off like shoes at Mnemosyne’s
fire ring. Nevermind that won’t earn you
a cross-reference from €œJacob (see

Israel) € in God’s Almanac
of New Names: From Michael (see
Adam) to the Present. Nevermind

God hasn’t appended his reputation
to your presence on these roads
supple as a cricket’s chirr

from the cleft between landscape
and soul, soul and skin, skin
and the palette you’ve charted

like desire’s ramble and catch
down the back roads and canyons
of memory.
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“Landscape, with a Cricket’s Chirr” is an ekphrastic poem in response to a series of roadscapes by J. Kirk Richards.

To read Tyler’s bio and more of his poetry on WIZ, go here.

*non-contest submission*

Vestment by Tyler Chadwick

Come slip between atmospheres of memory.
Knead yourself into cumulus €”your airline ticket,

your pushbike, your liahona €”with fingers like
the fingers of Doré’s sun. Sift marrow

until you feel soil part, feel the fern press its head
through mist then flatten against sudden emptiness.

Until you can roam sky without tripping on God’s
hem, can cloak in light

without singeing every shadow to ash, without
blinding yourself as you trace the cloudfire to dusk.

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Tyler Chadwick lives in Pocatello, Idaho, with his wife, Jessica, and their four daughters. His poems have appeared in Metaphor, Dialogue, Irreantum, Salome, Black Rock & Sage, Wilderness Interface Zone, and The Victorian Violet Press Poetry Journal. In 2009, he received the Ford Swetnam Poetry Prize and in 2010 he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He’s also editor of the forthcoming anthology from Peculiar Pages Press, Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets. He blogs at chasing the long white cloud.

To read more of Tyler’s poetry on WIZ, go here, here, here, here, and here.

*non-contest submission*

Self portrait with closed eyes by Tyler Chadwick

Self Portrait with Eyes Closed by J. Kirk Richards

Self portrait with closed eyes

like a brumal serpent
listening to Earth

shed her crystalline

skin, slip off her chill
at dawn’s seductions

supple as hibernacula

warm with bodies
slendering into instinct

and appetite €”Eden’s

infinite metaphors
sidled up to God’s breast,

areola iron on the tongue,

milk rich from desire’s simmer
and slow burn, the flame

set low so not to sear the soul

still this side of vision, lurking
like the mourning dove’s

anti-climactic elegies

teasing Eve from her
backwoods mythology

heavy with temptation’s

pome and tang and the rasp
of cherubim wings strung like

words along Lucifer’s tongue

as he conjures shame from
her constant wound €”fig

weeping matins in Eden’s half-

light while Adam snores
downwind, only stirs when

she’s roused scent enough

to slip into his dreams
as the rib slipped from his side

the morning God stopped by

and found the basket of figs
he’d left last visit

still sitting on the altar,

thrumming with June Bugs
undone in the eating, mad

with the zephyr’s rasp

through the scales of the constrictor
stretched at sleeping Adam’s side.

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“Self portrait with closed eyes” is Tyler’s ekphrastic response to the painting “Self Portrait with Eyes Closed” by J. Kirk Richards that appears at the tip-top of the poem.

For Tyler’s bio and links to more of his poems published on WIZ, go here.