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Oil Spill on Beach 50.jpg

The Spill


Will Watson

Will Watson is Associate Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast, where he specializes in American Literature. He lives "south of the tracks" in Long Beach, so the Gulf beaches are less than half a mile from his front door. Although northern born, he considers the Mississippi Sound, its adjacent waters and lands his adoptive homeplace. His poetry has appeared in New Laurel Review, Minnesota Review and Labor, among other places.

spooky poems about death keep spilling

out of me, all these images of unwinding,

of tumbling in surf, of dim, narrow doors,

trembling bridges, strange cities . . .

when what usually draws me

is, say . .  the time it takes

a pecan tree to kick free of earth

the nut carried and buried

by spring freshet just so, and no deer or squirrel

disinters it, and it sprouts through the mould

towards light, forms leaves, bark

nuts and usually i'll make something

from those leaves

maybe compost or mulch

or agonize over the green thousand nuts

killing grass on the back fence

--can i crack them all? bake a pie?--

or maybe, like Uncle Walt

i'd just let them all root deep, deep

in some other soil; i'd like to write

about that dirt, how it teems with tiny

living bits, animalia, microcosms

of the great beast whose breath sounds

everywhere, all the time, if you listen

how even the rot there

is sweet, nutritious, life giving


there is a hole in the world

a gap in the Gulf

and from it spill

spooky poems about death

about drowning, unraveling 

about steep bridges, strange cities

and dim, narrow doors

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