Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.
A VIOLENT SOUND IN ALMOST EVERY PLACE #208
I believe in the language of salvation.
I believer that language loses certainty
with each decibel it rises. I believe
any sound that shakes the ground
is too dynamic to carry another person
& that realization could save everybody,
could save non-believers, could create
a beautiful unease in every bully’s gullet.
I believe it matters if you cross the river
& it matters less if you can describe
in great detail the ecstatic state you felt
when you reached the waiting arms
of someone who cannot describe
that feeling either. If we must use words
to give faith, can we make them inexact
& quiet. Can we make those words
the symbol for radical, inclusive searching?
Can I tell you a secret? Can I whisper it?
A VIOLENT SOUND IN ALMOST EVERY PLACE #210
The ribbon of your great, lonesome
ability to be a giant, stomping through
the valley with your tremendous voice,
burying, re-planting humanity beneath
previous burials, mounds of spirit
ground into dust again by your thrusting
tongue. You have arrived at my cheek
with no more than a trail of spittle.
If you had more than volume
& the shuttle-shake of a modern prophet,
bent to out-shout the rattle of progress,
I would listen. I would be tender
with your words, the way I expect you
to be tender with mine. I am not afraid
that the people will hear your voice
over mine. I am petrified by the thought
that what you are saying will waste the tide
we’ve spent years culling from the cosmos.
WE ARE ARROWS #15
Intractable twilight, I was thinking of such flux while watching the thread of water peek out from the frozen creek in the ravine. Darkened to the daughter of each season, everything, all the time, feels like it will never end. It will all end in faith, if we believe first that our water is the first gauge of how we treat the ghosts of real tide. Once, with good strength, I saved a drowning child, and I have done nothing like that since. I am still the man that saved the drowning child, though my strength, my width and belief that the water gave me the child to save, has sank back into the rocks.
WE ARE ARROWS #61
I was worried for a long time about the hinge and signs of failure, that at some point I would just be put down, as in buried with breath beneath the question marks of my own person, that since I had no answers to the sustainable questions, I deserved to be cast below the root systems. We are all worried there might be hell. We are all worried about the evaluations of the sky and those that carry us. I was worried for a long time, and then I wasn’t worried at all, as I came to terms with the lack of ultimate answers. My real life began when I created my own questions.
ALL THE BIRDS ARE LEAVING #22
We see the wings dance.
We hear the un-tempered
songs, fat with everything
& none of us are happy.
We are watching
the experience, waiting
to be filled by it. This regret
has no beautiful lining,
no celestial bargaining
& if we only learn the nevers
of flight, we will be buried
as a dust without wind.