The day begins in fog, mist clingingto hilltops, birds erratic
in their song. Above the ocean,air and its attendant wrongs.
Along the coasts of the world,books have been left out overnight
on wooden tables and in the seatsof plastic chairs, their pages curling
at the corners, letters etched with salt.On a dew-wet beach in Indonesia,
Rilke’s eszetts have lost their sibilanceand Trakl’s umlauts—damp, smeared,
illegible—no longer have the powerto round the vowels they rest upon. [End Page 15]
David Starkey served as Santa Barbara’s 2009-2010 Poet Laureate and is Director of the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including The American Scholar, The Georgia Review and The Southern Review, and in six full-length collections, most recently It Must Be Like the World and Circus Maximus.