I. The Cornucopia Emerging cold and desperate, his whiting breath Trails behind him like the old ship’s own signature Disgorged in blunt belchings of smoke from its belly Through a single squat stack piping up the trying pots. The wit-starved whaler tells his hunger-angry crew: Sing a tune from groggy memory; desires supply the words. There’s the sea and he scans it like a line of poetry [Read more...]
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 am the ellipsis. I am discreetly edited out.
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…]
I didn’t notice the trees hard-etching the empty November sky as vividly last year. My eyes were elsewhere, and my body a year less tired, less worn, and yet less stripped of the weight that gathers in those long blind years when we feel most wise. [Read more...]
Eleanor Bourg Donlon
Divining Divinity: A Book of Poems
by Joseph Pearce
with illustrations by Jef Murray
Kaufmann Publishing, 2008
43 pages, $10.95
Harold Bloom has written extensively about the “anxiety of influence” and its hindering effect on those poor souls tortured with poetic ambitions. The greatest poets must be readers of poetry and are therefore (or so Bloom reasons) doomed to produce only weak, derivative work until they cast off the burden of influence and make some extraordinary contribution—an act of genius unique enough to capture the attention of posterity. The fledgling poet, therefore, is prey to acute anxiety. His first poetic volume must either be a conflicted mess of agonized allusion or a prolonged display of ostentatious precocity. There can be no middle ground. [Read more…]
Br. Ignatius Peacher, O. Cist.
The nascent day
makes itself known
like a blue-orange Rothko
on the horizon. [Read more…]
Do you know Slim the Cowboy, the Hero of the West? He found a rattler by the sofa, bravely beat it up. He saved his friend the sheriff when the local gang got rough, Then drank his campfire coffee from his pewter loving-cup. That’s Slim, in his bandana and fleece vest. Did you see Slim the Cowboy as he galloped into town? He left his mustang Star tied in the stable-yard out back (That stable looks suspiciously like my green baker’s rack), Then sat down at the bar and had a sliced-banana snack. That’s Slim, in small snow-boots of blue and brown. [Read more...]
Michael Lee Johnson
I see the spring dance all over your face in green
you were arrogant before you viewed my willow tree
outside my balcony.
Now you wave at me
with green fingers
and lime smiles.
You twist my words,
Harvard collegiate style,
right where you want them to be-
lime green, willow tree, and
dark skinned branches.
Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, IL. He is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom. He has also published two chapbooks of poetry. His poems have been published in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Fuji, Nigeria, India, and the United Kingdom.
Time takes miles from life, years rolling out, tolling mpg’s,
From a perpetually restless motor. The past, awkward and unwieldy,
Is a highway map folded in confusion’s haste.
It goes too far back for me to follow.
You become an absence, the might of a subjunctive ghost,
Expected as a radio station
And the time and place its fading signal finally dies. [Read more…]
CAST OF CHARACTERS
OLD WOMAN (NARRATOR)
SIX HOLY DEACONS (already dead)
EMPEROR VALERIAN OF ROME
CHORUS OF THE POOR
SOLDIERS, GUARDS, EXECUTIONERS
The action takes place at Rome, on the 10th of August in the year AD 258. [Read more…]
If the TV stares back in blank silence without even so much as a message from our sponsors, do not take it askance. Black static flies like a flag over this age. Salute and report for duty, be distracted, for to be distracted is the noblest aim (so long as GDP is not impacted). [Read more...]