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Clade Song 4

The Mineral Kingdom

I squint at everything
to become a denizen
and hold my eyes—
            not hoping
in a forceful way.
            A bright gray wind
            piques wisdom
in a sobriety of quails
under synanthropic
corvid presence and
brome's red innocence,
spikelets with long awns:
they tune my 'you'
to suddenness,
the angry innocence
of the skin on my arm
in this all-out bright.
Is this the way
to become a partisan
of striations, of a world
far gone and older
by far than the dates
on the piles of old magazines
slumped on the toilet?
If not, then this wandrous
half-sleep is so much brighter
than my last dream
and desert’s propriety insists
on night’s transports;
new details will probably emerge.

Jared Stanley Jared Stanley is the author of two books of poetry, The Weeds and Book Made of Forest, as well as four chapbooks, including How the Desert Did Me In. Stanley is a 2012-2014 Research Fellow at the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, and teaches at Sierra Nevada College. He lives in Reno, Nevada.