Issue 67, Fall 1976
LEARNING TO CLAM
On the cold coast west out of Hoquiam
I’m a stalker with a short-handled gun,
looking for dimples in damp sand to scoop out
and slosh in. Clamming is watching,
your close friend said, as we raced here under
a rising fog. But my own clam-eye’s
unfocussed like a baby’s, and the dawn-gray beach
gets littered with caved-in holes until
I learn to see under sand.
At the end of the nineteenth century
things got wiggly.
You tried to make photographs and the camera wiggled.
The dancers looked fuzzy, half-haloed.
You noticed the cast iron railing
you were leaning on wiggled too.
Strands of smoke from your Gauloises
writhed up and twined in the air.
When you went outside to paint what you saw,
what you saw was wiggly light.