William Wright 


Mountain Spell

It comes to me in fragments, a magnificent dark
and a final sense I belong

to wild onion and sassafras and other divinations
of autumn stems—

Each day I’ll fall to it, chewing my lips 
till they bleed, and my right hand

trembles cold as though it is submerged
in the old wild Shannon 

of my long-dead kin, and I will see
the sky wilt like a lilac flower

and a thunder will come, more a bell
than a rumble—and I have told

only you, for I find it no devilment—
I need no demon-siphoner,

for this magic comes from some history
twisting up bright and green

and I wish for it to keep on placing 
on my tongue the ghost-sweetness

of honey, and I wish for it to shake me
till my eyes rattle in my head like a gourd—

and I wish for it to raise my sleep 
into the glory of a deep rain

all night, until I wake and bear again
the broken clarity of morning.


William Wright is author of eight collections of poetry, four of which are full-length books, including Tree Heresies (Mercer University Press, 2015), Night Field Anecdote (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011), Bledsoe (Texas Review Press, 2011), and Dark Orchard (Texas Review Press, 2005). Wright is Series Editor and Volume Co-editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology, a multivolume series celebrating contemporary writing of the American South, published by Texas Review Press. Additionally Wright serves as assistant editor for Shenandoah. Wright will serve as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee in spring, 2016.


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