Photography © Chad Parenteau


Whenever Geese in a Scraggly Double-V
Skim the Short Swells Just Off-Shore,

you turn to the comedy
by nature, not to join it or
consider their destination

but to ogle, to attune their bugle
to your own inner ear, their
careening, their wacky flapping,

their exchanging of places, that
ever-changing intermingling
of shape, sound, sense, and

nonsense. Meanwhile, what’s
roving that word realm you call
your brain, that wetland habitat

of theory and blood? How often
it doesn’t seem to matter, doesn’t
seem to be matter, just flocks

of terms, odd ducks that don’t
appear to do you any damned
clear good. Grateful, though,

you suppose, you come and go
in it, oblivious, adept, as if
it were the easiest thing—

easier: as if it were gods,
gaggles of jabbering gods.


Recently retired from nearly 40 years of teaching college writing, literature, and peace studies, D. R. James lives, writes, cycles, and vegges with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of ten collections are Mobius Trip and Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2021, 2020), and his prose and poems have appeared internationally in a wide variety of print and online anthologies and journals.

Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine.