Casey FitzSimons

Camp Near Point Arena

Tamping the dust, damping the crisp noises
of curling, brittle leaves, fog settles
among trees. There are no crickets, no, and
no mosquitos. Owls are not stirring yet.
A quarter mile from the surf or more and
remembering roar I only hear my body
in minute repair, its process seething over
membranes into bloody fens, searching for
waste depots, at hollows of differing density
knocking. Thudding into mulch, compressing
air, wing-beats like furls of cloak sound,
chew loose earth, and mole to piles the dull
toe-stubbing bumps. Unencountered silence
I’ve made in collusion with the fog,
in primordial instinct myself submerged
with people and dogs. That whelming brings
exhaustion on, launching me to dwell this
anabatic distance from the sea where
only I enforce an isolation, elegant
and voluntary, from everything.

On the Way to Wiesbaden, 1960

We’re on the train
between Bremen, on the North Sea,
and Wiesbaden, on a tributary of the Rhine.
It’s good to be off
the tossing, creaking ship that sits in port
behind us, listing fifteen degrees to starboard.
Fixtures and fittings
in the train’s compartment are even more compact—
cleverer, smaller—than those in the ship’s cabin.
I’m narrowly berthed, rumbling
through bleak and cold, arms gray and tight
to my sides, catapulted towards the Alps. I dream I am
a lifeboat swinging from davits,
a flag-shrouded goldfish shot through a porthole,
a U-boat’s whirring torpedo,
a tailfinned bomb heading for Mainz,
a girl in hiding, hugging her knees.
In the morning I walk the platform stiffly
alongside limping Germans.

Casey FitzSimons’ poetry appears in print and online in The Newport Review, EarthSpeak, The Prose-Poem Project, flashquake, Leveler, and others. She has been a finalist in the River Styx and Writecorner Press poetry competitions. She has collected her works annually in chapbooks, most recently Altering the Lay of Land (2010) and Forgetting My Errand (2009). Casey is an Army brat, having lived in Brazil and Germany, and derives some content inspiration from moving seventeen times by the age of seventeen. She taught art in San Francisco for many years, publishing her studio drawing book, Serious Drawing, with Prentice Hall, and reviewed many exhibitions for Artweek. She has a master’s degree in Fine Arts from San Jose State University, and is a frequent reader at San Francisco Bay Area venues.

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