Story without a Name

Eve Tushnet

I.

Italics. I am in italics. I am canted slantwise toward the world. I pretend that the Roman numeral was modeled on me—the number for one. One alone, to be my own. . . .

I will never hear.

I.

I am the ellipsis. I am discreetly edited out.

I.

I am trapped in the subjunctive tense. Quisiera. I would have wanted. Perdiera. I would have missed. I would have. You know I would have. [Read more…]

Ambush

Gabriel Olearnik

The words were there within me
In the core, the secret storehouse
of myself
Before my lips moved
You smiled
called me a steppe falcon
And notched your bow. [Read more…]

Salisbury Plain

Taylor Graham

Just over [Stonehenge’s] shoulders I could see, in the blue haze of the remote distance, the spire of Salisbury Cathedral.
— Elihu Burritt, A Walk from London to Land’s End (1865)

Seascape of land: chalky waves that dip
and swell in barrow-mounds—whose graves?
The secret’s lost in history’s haze and pale
green life rooting into thinnest soil.
What tree could grow here? Only stone,
[Read more…]

Night Crossing

Amos Johannes Hunt

Who then is this, whom even wind and sea
submit to for instruction, who shuts up
their elemental raging, interrupts
their wild destruction with authority?
What then is this authority, that made
us cross at night, without a stated cause,
without assurance that the thoughtless laws
of nature would not trump our brave crusade?
Where then is this crusade advancing to?
What fate can this most questionary man
be on his way to meeting in this poor
and questionable world? And once more, who,
and who, and who is this, who proves he can
sleep easily when death is at his door?

Who Lights and Guards Macbeth

King Alfred

Alas! O prince, once worthy Glamis,
What have you done? Alas!
That bold ambitious blade has murdered
So much more than man.
Trust not the eyes!
For Sun is gone and Moon is dead,
And Nature trembles from the shock,
Hart rebels and hunts the hound,
And sky expels the hawk.
Trust not the heart!
For dark deeds and darker thoughts
Rise and set within Macbeth,
And Nature and the Soul are set
Upon the glamorous road to Death. [Read more…]

Flight

Seek ye first the Kingdom of the Lord—
 So I was taught, and hastened to obey;
 I watched the fields and rivers fall away;
 Above the soaring mountaintops I soared,
 Through Heaven-vaults alight with sun outpoured
 On luminescent golden clouds of day;
 And far below the sparkling oceans lay,
 And world-waves, washed forever, rolled and roared. [Read more...]

Pride

Gabriel Olearnik

Adebanke
Where are you?
My child my child my daughter
Ade with the cat’s eyes
Where are you?
You were walking amid the marrow-grass and asphodel
When the fronds came between you and the tribe
Now the sun sets
and the red roars begin [Read more…]

The Agony

Joseph Prever

In the hour of darkness the moon had hid her face,
And all the world was sleeping, save one who wept.
He left the meager comfort of well-meaning friends,
Charging them, Watch; and into the garden crept,

[Read more…]

Betrayed by a Kiss

John Savoie

Thou lookest far into eternity,
with those bright dying eyes!
Then tell me what thou seest?
— The Scarlet Letter, Ch. xxiii.

In this room there is something
other than us, not me, not mine,
and as I look on you, resting
between breaths, passing beyond
pain, free at last of all possession,
I know it cannot be yours. [Read more…]