Poetry Issue 9

   Issue # 9: January-June 2008

Eva Hooker

from Notes for Survival in the Wilderness

      9. Hypothermia

      Indicators: chattering teeth or shivering, stiff
      and clumsy hands, stumbling

      lurching gait, incoherent speech,
      lassitude: as if

      the body
      and brain are both leaking.

      In such circumstance, you must produce
      heat deliberately.

      Fully exert your strength without
      doing any work. Strain

      one muscle against another by wrestling
      with yourself.

      Say words out loud.
      (Dry them carefully lest they be scorched

      and shrunk.)
      Watch against the drowsy shaking, how one wakes

      mute, moving dumbly as if to interview the scalded
      place that is too cold to touch.

      The lathing, the turning:
      remember: nothing here is tenderness. Also that, snow

      is a great thief.
      Your spirit may do her offices—

      And yet—an overshadowing is a form of
      mechanical energy:

      production cannot be larger than loss.
      You must eat.

      The cambian layer of alder and willow is edible.

      A wild rose can be eaten raw.

      If in doubt, purify.


previous     next