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About this poet

C. Dale Young’s latest collection of poetry is Torn (Four Way Books, 2011).  He practices medicine full-time and lives in San Francisco.

The Philosopher in Florida

C. Dale Young

Midsummer lies on this town 
like a plague: locusts now replaced 
by humidity, the bloodied Nile

now an algae-covered rivulet 
struggling to find its terminus. 
Our choice is a simple one:

to leave or to remain, to render 
the Spanish moss a memory 
or to pull it from trees, repeatedly.

And this must be what the young 
philosopher felt, the pull of a dialectic so basic 
the mind refuses, normally,

to take much notice of it. 
Outside, beyond a palm-tree fence, 
a flock of ibis mounts the air,

our concerns ignored 
by their quick white wings.
Feathered flashes reflected in water,

the bending necks of the cattails:
the landscape feels nothing---
it repeats itself with or without us.

Copyright © 2001 by C. Dale Young. Reprinted by permission of TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2001 by C. Dale Young. Reprinted by permission of TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.

C. Dale Young

C. Dale Young

C. Dale Young’s latest collection of poetry is Torn (Four Way Books, 2011).  He practices medicine full-time and lives in San Francisco.

by this poet

poem
Someone has already pulled a knife
across my chest, and the rope has already
gripped our wrists drawing blood.

I am naked, and I cannot be sure
if you are as well. In the room, the men
come and go, yelling blood bath, half-blood,

blood-bitch. We never hear the word trueblood.
In my dreams I am
poem
Not tenderness in the eye but the brute need
to see accurately: over the ridge on a trail 
deep in Tennessee, the great poet looked out and saw
the vista that confederate soldiers saw 
as they rode over the edge rather than surrender. 

I saw only the edge of the cliff side itself and then
estimated the distance
poem

                       in memoriam Cecil Young

I am addicted to words, constantly ferret them away
in anticipation. You cannot accuse me of not being prepared.
I am ready for anything. I can create an image faster than

just about anyone. And so, the crows blurring the tree line;