spring/summer 2006, no. 7


For Real


This trail seems entirely compelling: everything angling down into a ravine arrayed in three, pitch-perfect dimensions.

Take the creek-bend at the bottom: apparently authentic — dark water, graded gravel and cobble. Completely persuasive; I’m impressed.

And the acoustic enfolding — replete with gurgles, white noise, subtle echoes.

Even the flaws are flawless. This cedar trunk fibrous as bark — I’d say “seamless” but it’s all seams, and that’s what makes it so convincing.

Over there, a dead-ringer for a snag: charred, complexly rounded, six or more versions of moss applied with precise and careless grace.

Check out the impression of walking: variable tread textures, body sensations — each foot fall with a unique pitch, yaw and roll; complicated tensions of the arch, calf, and knee. 

To top it off, I’d swear the work’s dynamic. Not just the creek water — that’s simple enough, probably a variable speed pump — but the palette of veritable details: the occasional falling leaf; the credible wren jarring the underbrush (or what passes, perfectly, for underbrush — myriads of seemingly chaotic lines and moth-eaten details passing by in choreographed parallax). And not just the instantaneous and unexpected either, but something like a deeper flux. Each day the entire array seems slightly shifted, a mite altered — evolved, even.


What does something like this run?

 I want one.



                        ........................................... Bill Yake

Bill Yake's first full-length poetry collection is This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain. His poems appear widely in environmental publications (Wings, ISLE,  Wilderness Magazine, The Bear Deluxe), as well as literary magazines (Fine Madness, Willow Springs, Puerto del Sol, and The Pedestal). With degrees in Zoology, Environmental Science, and Environmental Engineering, Bill worked for years for Washington State’s environmental agency investigating the distribution of toxic contaminants in soils, sediments, waters, fish and shellfish. Now he travels, writes and serves on the boards of the Olympia Poetry Network and the Washington Butterfly Association.



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