No 1 - Spring 2001
My parents, my wife's parents, walls of a sort,
will fall soon, and we will mark them with heaped
flowers and the reek of fecund earth,
the laying on of ponderous adjectives,
with verbs laden with unbearable love
or forgiving, with songs no one ever
whistles after sex or while driving to the bank
or loading the dishwasher. We will recall,
over casseroles and Jell-O salads,
how fond and quirky this flesh of our flesh,
how they rose between us and the world.
And yes, we will muse, as the poet said,
on boundaries, and what they walled in or out.
They struggle to stand, but the wind gnaws
them to their knees even as I write this.
I keep forgetting they are the pasty mortar
of hope, frail scree and rubble of desire.
I keep forgetting my coward words
are shredded, scattered by that same wind.
The warriors wheel their horses, laughing, show
their white teeth, dig their spurs into hot flanks.
They draw their swords, the steel ringing. They trill,
sing in shrill joy for the spill of blood, the kill.
The sniper holds up a finger, adjusts
for the shimmer of heat, the whim of wind,
cradles me in his crosshairs, and squeezes.
The horses pound toward me. Something slices
at my shirt, leaves behind a carmine slash.
Don't leave me, I cry, so naked and so small.
I hold up this poem like a puny spear,
all my ramparts ground to dust around me.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The