By Mark Turpin
(posted Wednesday, July 16)
To hear the poet read “Jobsite Wind,” click here.
that rips paper from the walls and changes plywood into sails
staggering a bent laborer with his load–
that curves string lines, bounces grass and trees in gusts
and makes the stick-framed studs above the ledger hum.
It searches all of us moving or standing still,
holding hammer or nailgun, our faces tight with cold
and hair wild. It searches us, leaning into the day,
for nothing we have or don’t have, buffets the unprotected
figure atop the wall and one stooped above a half-framed floor
forcing blocks between the joists. Wakened
by the wind I drove deserted, limb-wreck streets to the job
and found the roofless walls awash in wind, thrashing like a ship
in webs of lumber and shadows waving
above raindark floors laid purposeful with wood and nails.
Wind that threaded the trembling sticks of the house
driving plastic buckets down stairs, testing the corners
of a plywood stack, smearing a dropcloth to a wall like a shroud–
that rolled out of the throat of the world huge and articulate blasts–
And shoring spreadlegged, watching my hand hammering
in rhythm to my breath, the world hidden
beyond the nailhead’s own demands
while inside a focused stillness intact and undisturbed
also incessant asked Who am I? Why this action?
What is this place I am in?