Cal Freeman | Like Insects We Seek Out Cool Interiors


Like Insects, We Seek Out Cool Interiors

Outside the window, unspayed cats
are choking on our names.  A half-dead tree

of heaven relinquishes carpenter ants
to a downy woodpecker and we listen

to the sporadic percussion by which
small creatures time their work.

The collar-bell.  The lifting-off of wrens.
But not to think too much about these predations

and feasts that make us who we are,
I hum a song a bowling ball might sing,

To fall from the cradle
of thumb and finger

like a clumsy stone,
to rumble through lane

and gutter, to clack
nylon pins senseless

as pullets and come up
through the return

machine’s humming
belts over its graphite

wheel, to be chipped
and etched with inscrutable

cuneiform of an unskilled
postwar epoch,

while the cirrus-pillowed afternoon
splotches the lawn with amorphous

blobs our minds assemble into shapes

Cal Freeman was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He is the author of the book, Brother Of
Leaving (Marick Press) and the pamphlet, “Heard Among The Windbreak” (Eyewear
Publishing). His writing has appeared in many journals including New Orleans Review, Passages
North, The Journal, Commonweal, Drunken Boat, and The Poetry Review. He is a recipient of
The Devine Poetry Fellowship (judged by Terrance Hayes); he has also been nominated for
multiple Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and creative nonfiction. He regularly reviews collections
of poetry for the radio program, “Stateside,” on Michigan Public Radio. He currently lives in
Dearborn, MI and teaches at Oakland University.