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Sunday, July 11, 2010


by Scot Siegel

“Pledging to 'make BP pay,' President Barack Obama accused the oil giant of 'recklessness' in his first address to the nation from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, eight weeks to the day after the catastrophic oil spill began destroying waterways, wildlife and a prized Gulf Coast way of life.” -Jennifer Loven, Associated Press, June 16, 2010

Change is in the news again
though the dimmer
is stuck on high
& it is dark here

The room is full
of the smartest
people in the room,
yet the keynote
keeps repeating himself
& the lettuce begins
to wilt

Like a kid he fingers
chocolate frosting
from an unclaimed place
setting next to him
It seems no one
can reach the right switch
He feels an irritating
itch to run

In situations like this
his mother would say, son,
you must toggle-on
a different kind of light:
an alpenglow to dissolve
your colleagues into walls,
or to lift them like angels,

Then the wait staff will
prop the side doors open…
Let them

At first you’ll catch just
a whiff of it, she’d say––
This is how the world
slowly begins to change.

Scot Siegel lives in Oregon with his wife and two daughters. He is the author of three volumes of poetry: Some Weather (Plain View Press, 2008), Untitled Country (Pudding House Publications, 2009), and Skeleton Says (just out from Finishing Line Press). Another  full-length collection is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in early 2012. Siegel serves on the board of trustees of the Friends of William Stafford and edits the online poetry journal Untitled Country Review.