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Summer 2012

Three Poems

Real Man Blues The field of big-barrel barbeques tried to be a churchyard the way he once tried to lace me down with lies. In the end, only one got what they were after. And only one of us sang, I got mean things  on my mind. If even grits can suffer then maybe the [...]

Lovers, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

‘Will the world end if we come together?’ ‘Baby, what kind of question is that?’ * She is up from California for Christmas and orange-faced above her parka. Fake Californian girl, laughing in the parking lot, toting a bag full of booze for tonight. Leggier than you remember. You cross to the liquor store. * [...]

On A Barge

That Autumn I rented a barge in a secluded pool upstream from the mouth of the harbour, lost in there among the woods. I had an open stove in which I burned timber collected along the neglected ways. The smoke escaped through a small thin, tin chimney and trailed away into the evening. I spent [...]

Your Nature

You say it’s funny how your breasts are gone but you remain.  It was the same for your grandmother (who still lives), but your mother would not give them up and so gave up everything else. You couldn’t wait to get home; but now, as we lie here in the calm of this gradual waking-up, [...]

Good Night

Occulophobia: The fear of nightfall. Edison. Prometheus. Lucifer. Saviors. Lightbulbs. Reedy fire. Those who convert, invert With steady hands. Sleep: the fear of being Awake. Finger, Switch. The death Of artificial day. But when You lie cool-sheeted With the new buzzing darkness Pressing your unadjusted eyes (Infantly autistic, maybe crying), You see a square. You [...]

Pretend to be natives. The idea was absurd, a stroke of genius. Perfect timing, too. It was 1925, the year after the US granted citizenship to American Indians. We were sure the Alaska Natives would soon get the same recognition. The veteran Alaskeros laughed. Inside the damp and crowded locker room, they sounded like hysterical [...]

The History of Us

The house was red tiles, flaked stucco, a palm tree to the side dropping fronds like huge dried fish. They flew a pirate flag there, and mowed their lawn into a peace sign until the University mandated uniformity. Stanford had standards. The dark wooden doors pulled open heavily, and she was small. Perhaps she should [...]