Poetry: Casey McAlduff

mouth of youth

              once fortuitous
              salt-flat, settled in
                         decay, early verdancy,
                          the flourishing swamp
                               lands, the smoke
                               bellowing floor-bed,
                               the bloomed booming,
                               receding, its figure de-figuring
                               the fountain floating
                               like a scalp, half-balded
                                   in a buzzard’s
                                   eye view, torn like
                                   an exonym
                                      from a back-
                                      bone, blue

and so what if the pelicans
said you can’t move skeletons
in your mouth? you’ve grown
no trees dead and hold living
groves of men in the back-fumed
sacrifice of your singing throat.
[the waves know your sculpting—bones bound to boat]
the trunk barks. the sharks smoke.
we were but fat seals basking before anarchy, broke.


on the brink of salinas

the sky starts to turn itself south:
king city — los angeles
the sun-stung metal of mouth.
grin of the grill, skin of the grape,
echoes from the superdome we co-created in the valley.
somewhere on the snake road
between mountain and escape,
scattered documents spread testament
of the dream’s reaching prowess
& we thirst for the salts the oceans promised.
lucid lust in the wastewaters,
we can’t help but keep
seeing ourselves in —

Casey McAlduff reading: mouth of youth

Casey McAlduff reading: untitled poem beginning “and so what if the pelicans”

Casey McAlduff reading: south

Casey McAlduff is a poet and high school Humanities teacher living and working in Oakland. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College in 2012. Casey also co-curates the Studio One Reading Series at Studio One Arts Center, one of the longest running reading series in the Bay Area.