Will Nixon

H. Houst & Son

Heaven and
Hell in the same aisle as the helium balloons you buy to knock some sense into the sky.
Oil for the paraffin lamp so you can write poems by the light Emily wrote by.
Umber for the moods too much like March you begin to miss by July.
Suppose you weren't born with the genes for splicing wires or hanging chandeliers.
There's still hope at the hardware. The same two clowns who manage this place, the General
& the Saboteur, also happen to manage your psyche. One never fails. The other always has fun.
So buy the dog bone shaped like an Olmec god. The squirrel-proof bird feeder that squirrels prefer.
Order the ¼" screwlatchboltswitch that only costs 39¢ whatever the hell it's for.
Nobody votes against hardware. Rumor says there's a light bulb in back that burns forever.

(From Acrostic Woodstock)

Marilyn Crispell
      --Solo Piano

May your fingers
Arrest mayhem even if
Riots spread from your pinkies. May
Interludes arrive fresh from the moon. May you
Lead this cacophony up and down the keyboard into
Your moment of silence
Not so different from the spell
Cast by a spruce tree laden with snow
Right before the branches let go with an oomph.
I've heard
So much in your music that a piano can't
Play, the toe tapping of dinosaurs, the
Elves slurping milk, the bell towers dancing a jig.
Listen, the keys are starting to avalanche.
Lady, ski them like an angel.

(From Acrostic Woodstock)

Cooper Lake Trespassing

Calling upon the Cooper Lake Whale I
Once saw on a March morning when loons pleaded
Overhead and water spouted tall and proud by the far end, a
Perfectly natural fountain I've never seen again, I
Ease along the shoreline to my chosen
Rock to sit and wait, alas,
Like in The National Enquirer for a miracle.
A skeptic, loveless again, I
Know the Cooper Lake Whale doesn't
Exist any more than Bigfoot out in Shandaken or
The long-tailed mountain lions everyone claims to see.
Really, all I can honestly report is a thinning fog
Easing off the pewter lake surface, its calm
Stillness now ruffled by a breeze.
Perhaps I have only myself to blame.
All my life I've wanted to be
Special, a keeper of great
Secrets, but now
I know what everyone knows: you
Need to create your own
Gods, even a whale waiting years between breaths.

(From Acrostic Woodstock)

About the Author

Will Nixon's latest poetry book, Acrostic Woodstock, offers a portrait of the town in more than seventy poems. With Michael Perkins, he previously co-authored Walking Woodstock: Journeys into the Wild Heart of America's Most Famous Small Town and The Pocket Guide to Woodstock. His poetry books include My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse, Love in the City of Grudges, plus three chapbooks. His website is willnixon.com.

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