Day Labor

Day Labor, Serpent & Eagle Press, 1984Day Labor was printed on letterpress by Jo Mish (Serpent & Eagle Press) in an edition of 210 copies, of which 75 are bound in paper handmade by Phil Young.

The book includes a sequence of ten 13-line sonnets, as well as 5 line drawings by Phil Young, all at the coast of Maine at Ogunquit where the poems are also set.


Day Labor V

     I roll this stone over and over like a riddle:

     what you love most, leave for another.  Tossed

     back in the surf, it rolls one side orange

     with a seam of blue over one side blue

     with a seam of orange.  No room left for the human

     touch.  A woman lies embedded in the stones

     the waves have moulded exactly like a wave, exactly.

     She's found the one place their curvatures fits

     her own, as if she had ridden in on a scallop

     shell, the arc of a dolphin, or barefoot

     crossed the tide, while I must have crawled out

     once, gasping in the strange, thin air,

     or twice, a near casualty, grateful to be spared.