National Poetry Month: Day 9. “Camera 4” by Oliver de la Paz


Camera 4

The wildlife will not stay still.  They are legs and legs and legs.  The landscape is too big.  They will be lost if they do not stay still—little edges of things.  Little ghost blurs which could resemble hummingbirds, another kind of animal.  I want them to stop so I can hold them.  So I can feel the oxygen machines inside.  There is only so much collapsing one can take.  The way their sides rise and fall (again like the hummingbird).  The way they are constantly appraising.  Such as this foreign body.  Look.  And this.  Which has neither breath nor legs, only an eye.   If I keep blinking, maybe I can hold them.  Maybe they will bind.

Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz is the author of three collections of poetry, Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby (SIU Press), and Requiem for the Orchard (University of Akron Press). He co-chairs the advisory board of and is a recipient of grants from NYFA and the Artist Trust of Washington. He teaches at Western Washington University.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →