This Band of Night; The Dart Board; The After Summer
By: Celia Buckley
This Band of Night
From the other side of things
I watched my friend graph himself
in the almost-night, where he felt his watery image
projected onto the strato-gauze lining the eyelids,
the sieve of undersleep illuminated where
beads of ink and water,
Coke and milk stir
through the inner mind-screen.
I watched from the other end
of the glass impressions so quickly shrinking.
And the blueprint of the self he made
was a maze of slabs and shadow arms.
He woke one morning to dream-fractals,
their webbings and fissures
warped on the walls.
Resistantly we wait
in this band of night, driving the hillside
into the dark, crawling round the edge
of some unspoken end
while we reel it in
Iron trees flit by like film,
and the time-grate which calibrates us,
falls to our ankles and fails us
with one headlight’s knock through the
Let’s go to the beach—
the ocean’s turnover
presses us against forgetting.
The Dart Board
We’ve found the inner circle.
The gentle labyrinth, not like I’d pictured it:
looming and wet with indigo
but a soft series of warps under
No such thing in our small world as
circadian; the night is pleating,
there is no mourning,
the hours are
In the labyrinth where the
earth is buckled under wrinkled
North, West and every other direction:
we’ve got all the cardinals
and organs essential to surpass the silent beating
in our palms.
I want to be where the brains
are tender and the veins are
open and the jagged channel draws me
deeper into the chest of the warm animal
inhabiting my bed.
The After Summer
Everything is heavy now.
Kill the fan, hear the insects clacking
on the screen—the same sound of skin
unsticking from skin, from leather,
Somewhere boys are tripping up a hill,
fighting over the best tool to prod
the fire with.
Fog lies half a breath above it all,
while styrofoam lions in the yard
rest heavy and watch the stencilled lawns
flood with green.
Tick marks measure widths of hydrangeas
and coneflowers, fit & firm against
buckled concrete and rabbits that have been
Celia is from New Jersey and currently studies at Bard College in New York. She loves surrealism and spending time in nature.
Interview with the Poet:
Cathexis Northwest Press:
How long have you been writing poetry?
Probably since before I was in high school, but more consistently and seriously during college.
Can you remember the first poem you read that made you fall in love with poetry?
I think it took many little bits of poems over time for me to really appreciate poetry. But I do remember one of the first poems that I was introduced to was “hist whist” by e.e. Cummings, read to me by my mom when I was 8 years old. I still remember how amusing and bizarre it was to hear.
Who are your favorite poets? Any specific poems?
A few of my favorite poets are Ross Gay, Alejandra Pizarnik, Cecilia Vicuña, Mina Loy, and Gwendolyn Brooks.
Can you share for us a little bit about your writing process? Any specific rituals that get you in
I tend to jot down bits and pieces in the notes on my phone or in notebooks, and as I gather these I often find that they connect and work off of each other. I don’t have any particular rituals, but walks and breaks during the day always help me tune into language and creativity.
How do you decide the form for your poems? Do you start writing with a form in mind, or do you let the poem tell you what it will look like as you go?
For the most part, I let the poem do what it wants to.
Any advice for poets who have yet to find their voice?
I can’t really answer this since I don’t think I’ve found my “voice” and I don’t know if I ever will!
What is your editing process like?
Editing is one of my favorite parts of writing. Usually when I take a break from something and re-open it, there are line breaks that don’t sound right to me anymore, and I adjust them. Sometimes parts of what I thought were two separate poems merge, or a part of another poem needs to be extracted to become its own poem.
When do you know that a poem is finished?
When I feel that if I do anything else to it I’d just be overworking the thing.