Andy Nicholson


A Calling

You, if
there, can presence the
air, a
who—again I ask.

If there’s
word beyond wall, garden
beyond distance, then
soft, feather it, one might.
Might or might be

indispersible—thickearth, pewter chair—
unportioned in

open hands. Your
opened mouth moves

jaws to
stretch. You do.
Here you are.
Here you are again.


As you hold the sand, sand holds a sharp carve, sustains as your hand rhythms a grip. I look, and it looks back: sand looks—at your hand, at sand, ripples—and sand ripples a past, chance cast bright, lake’s shadow, won’t shout, refuses to beckon, refuses.

The road ignores, won’t shout, either or our genealogy of making. The road ignores and refuses. The road sulks from the wheel, from walk, pretends to be no one’s yawn. A gust is firmer.

In tree’s branching, flutter, in leaves’ row, the sand refuses, the road ignores. A constant shut hides, but let the sway, let diversion mutter, even if the shore is near, even if you see the shore.

Yes, let this. This too is a name, a scaffolding though it breaks, is as it retreats in shatter, is as stop and stop, as lips against, touchless drift, away, against, is, true, away.


One way he
touched without
away (and what could have

left, if he had
given it?), one
way: give
the words back.

He wants to write
anise, sine, sugar,
but writes sin,
surer, anti, salt
. Dead

pond. He wants
and wants. He has
it down, ended it.

He has ended. It
lifts its head a second,
off the ground,
relaxes, sleeps, breezes.


by let-
ters—or to talk
with closed eyes:

to whom to
turn? Chairs
noise the floor. Do
sounds speak the

light here, the
of the length here?

“Which who, qui, who that…”

Which who, qui, who that
kind hung from the branch, could
stream the creek
to new bendings? A kin to these

knocks on the wood—this
opening beat, this hollowing of
the home-keeper’s fill—a

sail’s solar cloth breathes
the cleric’s
hope. Trust

safekeeping to the
garden: a
holds for the court’s dwelling.

Andy Nicholson lives in Las Vegas and is working on a PhD at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His poems have recently appeared in Shampoo, Black Robert Journal, and Cannot Exist. He's reading a lot of
Jack Spicer, Yves Bonnefoy, and David Shapiro, these days.