a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Andra Vltavín


Omen

Two relatives I gain from a marriage
that no longer exists pray for a sign
from my father find one in a Wyoming
hot springs’ stranger who shows them
a chunk of meteorite
 
It’s from the Czech
Republic which is where deep down
my own body is from or at least where
my soul landed
 
It’s a healing stone
like the meteorite my father hung around
his neck after his father hung it
around his neck passed down patrilineally
so it will never hang around mine
 
When I say I am jealous someone asks
what doors do you keep open
for signs? There is no answer
to this question I don’t want
a lingering ghost to tap me on the shoulder
and if my father came healed
I might not recognize him
 
Who is my father when he is not
the addictions and what created them?
I don’t know and so a sign would need to be
something unexpected anything
I didn’t intend though I pretend to intend
everything It’s not enough to see
his name in the mail so maybe what
I’m looking for is
exactly this silence
I already have

421 Million Yards

If ever I write an autobiography
let it be made of string
—upcycled repurposed free clearance
wildflower landscape gradient
homespun angora
—but then the string
will need to be threaded
woven
crocheted
 knitted
just like rocket wires before a journey
to the moon —space travel
is always in my future Cosmic stitches
will need new names not single crochet half-
double crochet double crochet
but quarter note half note whole note
treble clef
—a musical naming convention
appropriated for measuring length not of sound
but of loops And now that the most beautiful scarf
I have ever seen requires both
crochet and knitting needles
 
this is the moment
when my British fiber crafts walk
across my fingertips to Poland to the Czech
to Russia
and knitting patterns
that never knew the simplicity
of a miniature shepherd’s crook
 
This is how I rewrite history
—with thread and yarn and string
across a tangled ancestry
that has little to do with me
until I fashion it from nothing
and next-to-nothing One dimension
becomes two which becomes three
if I add sleeves and there
we all are
in a garment fit for travelling
from here beyond the stars
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Andra Vltavín (formerly K. M. Lighthouse) is the author of Body Until Light, Time Counts Backward from Infinity, and two chapbooks of poetry. The poet is very involved in activism and is learning how to create better systems for people to belong to than patriarchy, capitalism and white-body supremacy. They lead writing workshops; facilitate healing touch rituals; and believe that art, poetry, and aesthetics are forms of divinity. They live the revolutions of queerness and polyamory and are very happily settled with a nesting partner, two bunnies and a spinning wheel at their home in Portland, OR.


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