Depoe Bay

by Steve Arntson
copyright 2009


D-e-p-o-e Bay
Well, it’s a misspelled place
Unless “Depoe” is French    or means more than storage
But no one’s talking    no one’s saying
Edgar Allan’s honored
But no one’s scared    no one’s anxious
Business is good
It’s summer and crowded
The D River flows and waters the sea
a hundred yards at a time
Later on we’ll know
And know what to make of it
Silence falling out of the geographic word
to an Absolute name
begun like the start of the day
its training wheels barely spinning ’round
First part of a book’s impulse and cry for help    for delivery
A depot for Defoe    and archive
It is the bay-before-departure’s bathtub
with baby boats and brand-new brains
Tub in the house of Tiny Town
Whose strict constructions
belie the superseding chaos
of coastal funny-faces sounding city names
beginning with “D”
You can almost believe in their brevity
I want you to remember enough    just enough
to pronounce the syllables two
that tell of the time there
And remember the tide that came in
as if out of curiosity and obedience
for a word-for-word of morning blessing
Plenty of place despite the crowds
And tamper-proof despite the depot’s shifting
alphabetical being
The deal is:
although THEN there were Indians
and the Taliban is due and certainly TO COME
right now you are safe
and thoroughly astray
in a town
like a vault
of tumblers

Categories: poem by Steve Arntson


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