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By Chase Twichell

Sometimes I long to be the woodpile,

cut-apart trees soon to be smoke,

or even the smoke itself,


sinewy ghost of ash and air, going

wherever I want to, at least for a while.


Neither inside nor out,

neither lost nor home, no longer

a shape or a name, I’d pass through


all the broken windows of the world.

It’s not a wish for consciousness to end.


It’s not the appetite an army has

for its own emptying heart,

but a hunger to stand now and then


alone on the death-grounds,

where the dogs of the self are feeding.


“Hunger for Something” by Chase Twichell from The Snow Watcher published by Ontario Review Press. © 1998 by Chase Twichell. Used by permission of Chase Twichell.

Source: The Snow Watcher (Ontario Review Press, 1998)

Poet Bio

Chase Twichell was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and has lived for many years in the Adirondacks. A practicing Buddhist, she is the author of several books of poetry, and her work often reflects her spiritual practice. She has taught at Princeton University, Goddard College, Warren Wilson College, the University of Alabama, and Hampshire College. In 1999 she left teaching to form Ausable Press, a nonprofit, independent literary press that she operated until it was acquired by Copper Canyon Press in 2009.

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