Heikki Huotari


To doors in ceilings
that swing open in emergencies
to oxygen supplies and circuses
in sequences well-ordered, tail to trunk,
and to no end of pleading, pleading,
May there be more heat than light
and in forgiving incandescence
may my inner and my outer selves
be reconciled and may I be the native
in regalia when I meet the queen.


The surface on which stones appear to float,
the nihilist explains the joke
and, practice making perfect,
every day I soap and shave the same balloon.
The six foot ten inch center who has lost the contact lens
looks up while everybody else looks at the floor.
The statute of my limitations past,
I may have won already
and I am of two minds when I hear the news.


Conducting electricity, I undress for success,
my patterns clashing and my essences at odds
and half of Michigan is in this elevator with me
and from my rotating restaurant,
through the small round token window, I see
atmospheric blue and green disturbances and laugh.  


In retrospect the act is ethical
and any meadow that the sun gets to may rise
and we are start-ups, we are fool’s gold,
from the cake down we are naked, vacant,
and the spring’s restoring force proportional
to its displacement and the short unwinding road.
The color wheel throws off its chains,
increasing frequency to fibrillation.
When I call it flesh it tastes like chicken,
rattlesnake to be exact.


There’s temperature and pressure
and the weave of rebar in concrete,
so offer me a midnight knife,
the kind that saws a radiator hose in half
then slices a tomato paper thin
and tell me how and when to pray
and bring the plastic masks and rubber crutches on
and take those broken things away.

Heikki Huotari is a retired professor of mathematics. In a past century, he attended a one-room country school and spent summers on a forest-fire lookout tower. His poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse. His first chapbook was recently published by the Finishing Line Press.


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