Nate maxson

p o e t r y

Light Pollution/ Ariadne

A skull and bones wing-pattern coat jumps

Lives, running inside a flicker

Flight evolved out to a memory,

A rediscovery

All across the American veldt

The eyes of those who looked

Too long into daylight

Are rolling back white in their heads

The stars are disappearing

To light pollution

(a toast)

They say

You could once see the Milky Way

Zoom in from that wide lens,

That general negation

To a motion that sparks and sways

To watch what moves across the streetlamp

Like a spotlight on a stage

One breath and then it’s gone

Arrhythmia and the labyrinth  

An optical illusion

But a convincing one

A hieroglyph of matches


Of what you used to see

It’s a slow death

A macular degeneration

Lit by children

We know it

The way we know without saying it

That all dogs are born, orphans

When we see a shape hopping shadowy

Across the empty, tumbleweed filled canals

These long legged nights of the drought

Colorblind snipers

Firing into the dark



The Mirror Tarot: Unsafe Wiring

The twins:

This is my card

It depicts Hercules in the underworld

Only his mortal shade though

The divine part

Split like an atom

Which part remembers?

One underground

Stays behind to warn Odysseus on the shoreline of Tartarus

And one above

The earth is a mirror beneath our boots


The snowshoed hare:

This is your card

Its mouth is ringed red from an unknown trespass

On a slower animal

Nose twitch/ lick lips/ how they move

Small footprints in the snowdrift

A pastoral vanishing

Like Hemingway’s baby shoes

An urban legend

The only evidence


Last card: Gehenna

The echo and the daylight

The dust

Ovens so big and so seldom fired

There are black birds nesting in the crooks



The Mirror-Tarot: Cold Reading

The Elephant Graveyard

A major arcana

A bonfire licking at the night sky’s soft blue underside

Men with gloved hands warm themselves on its border

Faces smoky and scarved


When they catch the poachers

They burn them like witches on pyres of ivory


That one is for the past


Now the present moment enters the frame


The Queen Of Lilies

This is your card

Her face emerges

Unscratched from a bramble

In each hand she has an apple

Then the branches close in and her face vanishes

Cheshire cat-like

She closes each hand and the apples blink out too

Hands withdraw

Only a breeze


Try to remember

Where those gold apples bloomed to the touch


Now the future: muddiest of all the waters

Seven Of Crows

A floating city

Where no one talks

It’s Venice in reverse

It lifted off the ground one day

Rose an inch a year

Grew like a child

That way

They hope the crows


Pull them back to earth

Like so much smoke

Where a large shape went crashing

Through the trees

Nate Maxson is a writer and performance artist. The author of several collections of poetry, he lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

© 2018 by Azia Archer

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