The Song of the General
The moon is sharp on the blade.
The dew shines on the hill.
The heart bleeds dark
And my men lie still.
The heads on the palisades
Dried in the wind so black
Call out to the venturing foe:
Turn back, fool, turn back.
No. 207 Winter 2013
is a verb
Sometimes you wait a while for the bus—
the bus of happiness
The windows around Gramercy have eyes.
We look, they look back.
She was older, sleek, and had a bite to her,
but I was bolder with my knees on either side of her.
She’s given up sex.
She’s given up travel.
The coat of Italian red eyes me. Wool
Unraveling from abuse,
a homely word:
a plosive, a long cry, a quiet stop, a silent letter
How much the colonel loved his granddaughters
you will never know.
No. 206 Fall 2013
Moving as a mind moves across a math problem,
Or an eye across a lover’s body,
As if in answer to a primordial urge,
I longed for something
& the moon and all stars
you can name
Everything’s a couple sizes bigger: a sky
Cutting deep into the streets, hydrants
Outside the funeral of the politician who died young
I waited for you. Rolled in my hand like a baton
It pains me to see an old woman fret over
A few small coins outside a grocery store—
we had climbed up the mountain
towards the colossal figure of the temple
Perpetual peace. Perpetual light.
From a distance it all seems graffiti.
You’re born that way—or else you’re not.
It’s snowing—or else it’s hot.
No. 205 Summer 2013
No. 204 Spring 2013
No. 203 Winter 2012
No. 202 Fall 2012
No. 201 Summer 2012
No. 200 Spring 2012
Sweet neighbor of the green forest
Eternal guest of April in bloom
I have been courting sleep
and catering to its taste in nightgowns.
Down from the mountains of Appalachia
and the highs of new love
You huddle into a shield or breastplate,
a whisper in the dark summoning your kin
Burnt by lightning nevertheless
she’ll walk this terra infinita
The moods of the cantaloupe king are moods
Of the melon king in green variations.
a “beautiful day”
The city sleeps with the lights on.
The insomniac wants it to be morning.
No. 199 Winter 2011
The solitary molar of a streetwalker
whose body had gone unclaimed
On leftovers ana breakfast like the spleenish wulf the wéstenas chase.
He sets out hungry, nose in the wind, up the wulfhleoþu.
I tried, and each attempt was a fiasco.
I yearned, but every love of mine was wrong.
It means stand still. It means
stay just as sweet as you are
No. 198 Fall 2011
Our ménage à trois by candlelight—;
the various absurdities: black lace,
Then he deflowers her, pulling away the greenery.
Then a blue vein thinning into a hollow.
Catch! It’s a quarter, right? You got it? Good.
Now, pinch the flat between your first two fingers,
Then we could ride all day and yet
not reach the farthest edge of our demesne,
He’s gone from him forever, and ever since he’s sought
his lips on the lips of every boy he goes to bed with,
Feelings seem like made-up things,
though I know they’re not.
A year after he left I thought of the day he’d been
sick and I’d cut my then-husband’s hair
No. 197 Summer 2011
At your center:
spectacles to sharpen sight,
in a hotel gift shop outside Phoenix, AZ,
No. 196 Spring 2011
Bring me in under your wing,
be sister for me, and mother,
Beneath which the quarryman
crawls. Or rather
The door had a double lock,
and the joke was on me.
Sounds that came into the world in my lifetime
already sound old-fangled: dial-up modems,
I wanted sky. That was my ambition. And now I’m being tugged
Up a small steel mountain,
No. 195 Winter 2010
One last stop, he says. And they drive to Westside Lanes.
I grew up bowling. I don’t want to bowl. It was raining.
Not too old, not young anymore,
almost three dozen years gone by.
That man over there
I made this up from nothing.
It’s not myself I sing,
No. 194 Fall 2010
In the good old days mutations appeared everywhere,
and every second baby was a monster.
Young girl's song, insistent song
wafting from a hidden room and wandering
The second woman shines my shoes.
The other takes my order, curtsies. Thank you, sir.
No. 193 Summer 2010
I heard a little cough
in the room, and turned
No. 192 Spring 2010
my emptiness has a lake in it deep and watery
with several temperaments milk cola beer
In the end we are no more than our own stories:
mine a few brief passages in the Book,
That was the year the Nazis marched into Vienna,
Superman made his debut in Action Comics,