James Bertolino
Poet, Mentor, Editor

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New Poets of the American West

The new anthology of poets from the western half of America is out now. This is an excellent representation of the poetry and poets from this region.


Every Wound Has a Rhythm

Copies of Bertolino's new book, out in 2012, are now available.
For more information visit the Publications page.


Jim on Whidbey Island

Bertolino walking a beach on Whidbey Island

Snail River

Somewhere the proposition that heals
with a caress of loon feather,

that pulls a mountain range
through the wing-bone of a wren
to let it blossom.

Look for the endless forms of the one thing, sunflower
as cougar's eye, glacier, underwater spider
with its bubble of air, slow river of snail, spiral
nebula—the way everything moistens
with love, hastens with fire.

Everywhere mouths are opening and closing,
gills turning ocean to lace, baleen
counting the smallest lives. It's time for

computers to swoon
to the symphonic order of termite
cathedrals: bravo, bravo!

Dance of the gift of living crystal. The virtuous

ballet of erectile tissue, a sweetness
in the hydraulic whistling
of the black widow's musculature: such intelligence.

Listen to the shrill piping of silica
inside the high Douglas fir.
Hear everywhere the electron's bright chirp
and the deep hum of the Earth
saying “home.”