Divination

by Patrick Kindig

Small migrations are a sign
of the apocalypse: the stars

replaced by baby teeth, the moon
by a crumpled receipt. The

cherry blossoms returned
in February: yet another. Soon

the rains will come, the sky’s paint
will begin to crack. Here

comes the first blue flake.
You’d better find an umbrella.

Patrick Kindig is a dual MFA/PhD candidate at Indiana University, where he writes poems and studies 20th century American literature. His micro-chapbook, Dry Spell, is forthcoming from Porkbelly Press in late 2015, and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the minnesota review, Fugue, BLOOM, Court Green, and elsewhere.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Divination”?

    “Divination” actually started half a year ago as a much longer piece that grew out of a single phrase: “it’s not just shells / that sound like the ocean, it’s all / empty things.” As you can see, a great deal ended up getting cut over the next six months, including the originary image of seashells. This, I think, is how my best poems get written: as a kind of erasure, a walking stick whittled down to a toothpick.
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