Nate Pritts




This constant intensifying of knowledge



This constant intensifying of knowledge

of this present living into colors

that are too bold / inexplicable / or simply

            one more produced poem empty of feeling


has left me small & stale today / with my coffee

as the afternoon moves forward anyway.  Other months


            I was glad to follow my own commotion

                        & hopeful / for some meaning in the result

but the process just took time & stopped bringing joy.


I am ready

to deny any interest in the end result / because

what I love about this today is

is the way in which it all moves

& with me in it / happening.


If you told me you could hand it to me

I would still walk to get it myself. 


We are our pattern / moments & thoughts

                                                laid inextricable from perception

all together in a constantly shifting / unpredictable

motion we can’t tire of or discern.




Woke up / cold & felt my skin tight



Woke up / cold & felt my skin tight

around the back of my head where

many of the complex permutations

of my identity

spark in ways that / can’t track

& all my insecurity lingers in a buzz of pain


& so pull more & more blankets over me

in happy withdrawal before the timed heat

burst / kicks on

& signals real morning.


So many of the endings I remember

are in winter.


Dense bundle of people outside

the coffee shop window

while I flounder unaware of unreturned affection

                                    dying off            & me now


soft still & dreamy in my own / home window

trying to remember what             to name anything,

trying to push through a brutal

layer of early clatter /  then in finally

descending quiet I could tell what


I wanted to say & say it urgently.




I want to let myself sort.



I want to let myself sort.

            Three unreturned emails result in

                        a late phone call / message

I won’t listen to.


There is an impulse to make this self / referential

as in             do some anything for so long

& you start to know nothing

about your own motivations


& you might forget about delight in circumstance.


The scope of things passes unnoticed unless

                        it is noticed in words / because

I don’t trust my own shuffled system of remembrance


without the monitory voice of disciplined sorting

            which is these words / any words.


Is there a shape that we ought to retain

            or only that we discern through looking new?

This explains / why I willingly stifle

all these attempts to drag me back.




When morning is in me / suddenly



When morning is in me / suddenly

                        this new existence is fitted to existing things

so it is the dawn of being a constituent one

            awake in me & in this / bond of joy in light


& so thanks for showing me this

suggesting this new process

when the work pressed in & made me

dumb / inelegant             all through the better portions of the day


of the later time where I am only required to be

efficient at modes of assessment

or in articulation

of rigor / & my recursive strategies for

determining the right answer

from among a field of poor choices. 


  So only this

internal dialogue springs up / protected

under dawn / this equal parts / effusive utterance

from my soul / bare & traveling into daytime


& also elegy for the crash into dull navigation ahead.



Nate Pritts is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sweet Nothing. He is the founder & principal editor of H_NGM_N, an online journal & small press. Find him online at