C Dylan Bassett

C Dylan Bassett is a teaching fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of two collections of poems, The Unpainted Shore (Spark Wheel, 2015) and The Invention of Monsters / Plays for the Theater (Plays Inverse, 2015), and six additional chapbooks. His recent poems are published or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Columbia Poetry Review, DIAGRAM, Gulf Coast, H_NGM_N, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Salt Hill, West Branch and elsewhere.

Against Creation


Against Creation

Against Creation

Against Creation





a bright red curtain is noon

not easily parted 
always beginning

or about to begin

I do not want to see 

is someone else’s mind
















the certainty of being 
part of a landscape

is available in a drugstore 
how easily

the moon falls

with one light 
behind schedule

the city 
clicking on
















in naming the wind I am named

a stranger 
an inundation of almost

I was a boy

until they found me 

then I was 

a man lost among trees
















a bee enters 
the absence of sound

the sound of being 

a paper flower 
I hear water there

where none is 
quietly running

a cloth draped 
across a mirror
















the eye composes

an even smaller sun 
working backwards

in which the sun is 
within reach

a small war 
the mind

passes through

















nothing can make the rain

hear me
distance befalls

a boy or girl 
who came home lost

to stars 
we are only visitors
















one of us sees the other

as through a window 
autumn downloads

across the patio 
its leaves

provisional, self-satisfied 
as all worshipers

almost are
















whose breath 
echoes the empty room

I echo too 
a hummingbird’s wing

am I that loudly 
from the self

there is no refuge
















& if I could I’d sing 
what the apple does

falling touches me 
the sun

isn’t always hot

I throw the rock 
testing the water’s depth

before I jump 
or don’t
















the very same river 
bends into a yes

the color of no color 
earth a miniature

of earth 
my hands are small

as god’s hands
















I go only where 
my eye has been

already the moon grows 
in the reeds

a residue of milk 

like a thought becoming 

its own object















a grain of salt stubbornly

in my vision is the light 

as when rain falls

at a certain slant 

and all I see is rain
















an old belief or a speckled bird

which repeats which

repeats a rusty gate

an elegy in which everyone is 

still awake