Keith Flynn is the author of four poetry collections, his latest The Golden Ratio (Iris Press, 2007), and a collection of essays, The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing (Writer’s Digest Books, 2007). From 1987-1998, he was lyricist and lead singer for the rock band, The Crystal Zoo. His poetry and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies around the world, including The Colorado Review, PoetryWales, The Cuirt Journal (Ireland), Takahe (New Zealand) and The Southern Poetry Review. Flynn is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review. www.keithflynn.net.
A Rolling Story
Late May, and this rolling story
gives us river roads
and incurable disorders, a suicide
whose bullet wound resembles
the Madonna, or a man with no legs
who designs the perfect shoe.
ace your hands over your eyes
and the mind becomes a picture house.
Place your fingers between the fingers
of another and the tangle ripens into love.
A grouse explodes from the brush
when the fingers are loosed,
its feathers make a pillow for a doll
whose child is blind. Art is incurable,
and brutish, and it decides if the river
will lay comfortably in the furrow
of its bed or take the congruent road
for its own and render it invisible instead.
The jubilee of the human form
makes light surrender to its need,
and no diploma makes its lonely valleys
settle and no master makes it breathe.
A woman with no arms learns
to paint by flexing her toes,
the way a poisoned garden will collapse
and produce a perfect rose.
If death is the mother of beauty, and stars
are born to burn out, then the river
is excused its cruelty as it
quietly swallows the town.