The valley is full of vapor
interred between cliffs
beads of cold sweat
on the park tram window
First views: squinting through the bug-splattered glow
pueblo ruins invisible
Welcome to Planet Kolob
where dying saplings smell sweet
and the air is cool like moccasins
filled with red mud
The creek has gashed a little bridge
orange votaries attend the scene
They’ve come to move the earth
another feather in their hardhats
Newness breezes the checkpoint
Visibility is high
in all directions but mine
Bruised plum skies
need further explanation
some music to counter
the silent treatment of trees
Spruce, Fir, Ponderosa Pine
a walk along the rim
through Pinyon and Juniper
Here things happen fast
rain approaches from the north
its crescendo blasting the forest of stone
Back in the tent, nature’s Lex Talionis
Soupy firmament afterglow
More to say on that
GRAND STAIRCASE (ESCALANTE)
The Wandering Year is here:
Hellanized consciousness with all the bells and whistles.
Chalky rotundas traced from blue darkness,
lit by the likeness of an unseen moon.
Who are we to move outside it?
I mean the beehive state of mind.
Asteroids, eruptions, petrified trees!
AM 1610 for Road Conditions—
enter monocline with feverish speech.
Today is not August 15th, 2014.
It’s Thursday, September 32nd—
Year Zero Anno Declension.
Dust scatters light to the night-side of the planet
where the road becomes a dome
and I’m peerless in my thoughts
What’s your favorite Twilight Zone?
The sky’s been closing for miles
moving the needle’s eye
put your best foot on the gas
via SR-12 to Boulder
meet conceptual heat
Burr Trail to slot canyon
steep grade of red and slate
on Navajo sandstone
But we never make it to Monument Valley
I like the way earth is tilted here
how clouds drag darkness
across the landscape like an anchor
Exposed interior says it all
You’re the Dostoyevsky of national parks
your Water-Pocket Fold
a violent map of time
Aaron Simon is the author of Carrier (Insurance Editions 2006), Periodical Days (Green Zone 2007), Senses Himself (Green Zone, Fall 2014) and Rain Check Poems (Blazevox Books, 2015). His poetry has appeared in Shiny, Exquisite Corpse, Hyperion, Sal Mimeo, 12th Street, The The Poetry, the New Hunters Review, Pax Americana, Gerry Mulligan, and the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet the Blog. He studied poetry and philosophy at New School University in NYC and currently resides in San Francisco, where he works in the financial services industry.