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About this poet

Nick Lantz is the author of How to Dance as the Roof Caves In (Graywolf Press, 2014). He teaches at Sam Houston State University and lives in Huntsville, Texas.

Ancient Theories

Nick Lantz

A horse hair falls into the water and grows into an eel.
     Even Aristotle believed that frogs
                                formed from mud,
that mice sprouted like seedlings in the damp hay.

     I used to believe the world spoke
                           in code. I lay awake
and tried to parse the flashes of the streetlight—
       obscured, revealed,
                    obscured by the wind-sprung tree.
Stranded with you at the Ferris wheel's apogee
       I learned the physics
                    of desire—fixed at the center,
it spins and goes nowhere.

       Pliny described eight-foot lobsters
                         sunning themselves
on the banks of the Ganges. The cuckoo devouring
       its foster mother. Bees alighting
                         on Plato's young lips.

In the Andes, a lake disappears overnight, sucked
       through cracks in the earth.
                         How can I explain
the sunlight stippling your face in the early morning?

Why not believe that the eye throws its own light,
       that seeing illuminates
                    the world?
                         On the moon,
astronaut David Scott drops a hammer and a falcon feather,
     and we learn nothing
                    we didn't already know.

From We Don't Know We Don't Know by Nick Lantz. Copyright © 2010 by Nick Lantz. Used by permission of Graywolf Press.

From We Don't Know We Don't Know by Nick Lantz. Copyright © 2010 by Nick Lantz. Used by permission of Graywolf Press.

Nick Lantz

Nick Lantz

Nick Lantz is the author of How to Dance as the Roof Caves In (Graywolf Press, 2014). He teaches at Sam Houston State University and lives in Huntsville, Texas.

by this poet

poem

In the late spring of 1985,
we met in the weedy lot of the Orchid Pavilion Nursery
for a little ritual purification.

Everyone came, all the half-brothers and half-sisters,
the children not yet born,
and men so old they were young again.

We sat beside the aqueduct, and gold cans of

poem
It's fast and cool as running water, the way we forget
the names of friends with whom we talked and talked
the long drives up and down the coast.

I say I love and I love and I love. However, the window
will not close. However, the hawk searches
for its nest after a storm. However, the