Raymond Cummings, Two Poems

Prelude to a Butterfly
Raymond Cummings

Cracked open, this new day spills
quartz teeth, Cadbury yolks, light.
Jujubes, grapefruit for breakfast;
Calypso orchards bowl in mock
shame. This was shot second-unit:
tree swifts bombing Steadicams.
Draped from third-story boughs,
caterpillars contemplate spasms
of riotous color, of pure premise.


Birding for Amateurs
Raymond Cummings

Dim all volumes, settle your blood; be still.
Now, imagine mumbling deeper
into concentric circles, while
one solitary Blue Jay
loiters in the same
null moment,


a branch,
pretending its
beak is a comb. Birding
isn’t this, though. Amateurs
see chase scenes in every glance
Heavenward, spy portents in stray feathers.

Raymond Cummings resides in Owings Mills, Maryland. He is the author of books including Assembling the LordCrucial SprawlClass NotesNotes on Idol, and Vigilante Fluxus. His writing has appeared in SPINThe Village VoiceSplice Today, and the Baltimore City PaperBricolage Bop, his next collection of poetry, will be published independently in 2019.


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