Ian Randall Wilson – Three Poems

At 3 A.M.

This late I am shedding excess
principles along with the trash.
I stepped on something spiny
limped back to the open door.

I await the next stage of my life
all of us reclining in our chairs.
Somewhere armies confront their identical
selves on the next great battlefield.

The windows are incompletely closed.
The door rattles in the wind.
Now is the time when the darkness
issues its invitation for animals
to express themselves
in ways they never knew how.

Before Swerving 

An assembly of the extinguished
in the cemetery across the road.
My home watches over them.
Not the best location,
but the sale price was right.

The dead redefine themselves
in our shifting memory.
The faithful antecedents
cannot be trusted
after all the pictures burn.

We are renting time
as the covering of our souls
reveals itself as something quite thin.
On a scale I can’t aspire to
the morning favors me today
letting through a little sun
and heat — the calmness
before the storm.

Language Waits

This is not Spain.
This is not a photograph of Spain.
The intersection has changed
since the last time I visited.

The eucalyptus trees are gone
replaced by concrete pylons
topped with stars.

The metaphors are quarreling
and I am standing by.
I am waiting
for them to hand me
the image I will use
to continue my life.

I am hoping
for ash to sing,
some open organism
living in the cold light.
I may get space
and earth spinning–
nothing more.

Author’s Statement on Beauty

There are traces of the beautiful in the barrel, the barrow, the cultured back yard — evidence, yes, but the thing itself escapes me. I write about throwing pots as a metaphor for this small practice of mine. Trying to find the beautiful form. It’s hard to be beautiful this political season. I once thought it was necessary to die for beauty, but I’m older now and if I can walk to end of the drive and back, well, there’s some kind of beauty in going on.

Ian Randall Wilson has published two chapbooks, Theme of the Parabola and The Wilson Poems, both from Hollyridge Press.  His fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in many journals including The Gettysburg Review, The New Mexico Humanities Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Mid-American Review and North American Review. He has an MFA in Fiction and in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. He is on the fiction faculty at the UCLA Extension. By day, he is an executive at Sony Pictures Entertainment.