Patrick Haas

                    after ws merwin


hunger from the woods, that great
god, hunger
I mean, not the woods, I had
nothing you could take
and so
you stayed
waiting, hanging empty
bottles inside of me where you
begin in me each face

in the street is a slice of bread even
in the middle of the night

hunger flying deeper
into my black lungs, most
of my tongues, slipped shadows
of leaves, you never once afraid
of where you were going

start with snow from the beginning
start with a question for my two eyes

my ears, my mouth, my heart, flying
through the half-light of

try to imagine the world before you

try to imagine you carrying me into that world



steps and a calendar to carry
you I remember
being a pile of leaves
like a wave in the wind

toward the color
of apples, pace
of a child's mind

gliding through hills
of child sleep,
puzzle of mother and father

the old ambitions
the persuaders
the blind neighbors

why should I return?

damp odor of heart, raucous
intruder wrapped
in black ribbons

passing through vacant rooms

why should I return?



the rust colored leaves
fall, books
of grief the wind flips

bore in

hello bore
in good-bye

but I am in this world
mixing bewilderment with

waiting for myself

in another life centuries
from now


behind a white veil of snow
having erased the beginning



he is climbing
through the windows
of error, he
is stripping his old
and tossing them
like shadows
across the sky

there is a singing

he is sure of it
he is sure of it
a somewhere

there is singing



brightness belonged
to the other monument.

the names we stole stole
us in return. unlike any

thing to say remember
the forest opened some

good thing to you. but
you now does not exist.

is of no use. the feeling
is of never wanting to

return, to have anything
put in your place. such

delight. finding nothing
the mind gets up and runs.

Patrick Haas has published other poems in Unstuck, The Prose Poem Project, and Dark Sky, as well as other journals. Some of the language in "Fugue" was borrowed from W.S. Merwin's poems "Bread", "Habits", "Second Psalm: The Signals", "The Blessing", and "Finding A Teacher".