Read a poem, talk about it, read it again.

Episode 177 [Flicking off the light switch.] - Sherwin Bitsui


Connor and Jack bid farewell to the year they've taken to calling "Twenty Twenty Poo" and contemplate the complexities of language in a wide-ranging conversation about a spectacular untitled poem by Diné poet Sherwin Bitsui, from his 2009 collection Flood Song. They discuss movement, the natural world, an extremely informative dissertation and more.

Learn more about Bitsui, here.

Flicking off the light switch.
By: Sherwin Bitsui

Flicking off the light switch.
Lichen buds the curved creases of a mind
pondering the mesquite tree’s dull ache
       as it gathers its leaves around clouds of spotted doves—
               calling them in rows of twelve back from their winter sleep.

Doves’ eyes black as nightfall
shiver on the foam coast of an arctic dream
       where whale ribs
               clasp and fasten you to a language of shifting ice.

Seeing into those eyes
you uncoil their telephone wires,
gather their inaudible lions with plastic forks,
tongue their salty ribbons,
       and untie their weedy stems from your prickly fingers.

You stop to wonder what like sounds like
when held under glacier water,
how Ná ho kos feels
under the weight of all that loss.

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