Archive for February, 2016

The Battlefield as Winter

February 23, 2016

Indifferent tourists—to sounds, and shadows,
to mice whose teeth grind salt and syntax—
wait in line for the battlefield to open.
The tour guides tread softly across the field.
The shapen snow is so cold it bites the nose
of the unwary and leaves them crying.
You have to pay attention to the dead bodies
to know how the frozen solidity of the land rebukes
the crenellations the solders have left behind.
Crenellations are explained as cut outs in a wall.
The battlements gave height to your position.
Your morals are reified. Souvenirs are taken.
As the tourists climb back aboard the bus,
they caste a glance toward the towers  that gently move
against the astral sky, daylight’s passage.
They live as ceremoniously as the moss does
on rocks, imitating the rocks. The cannons roar,
the nights howl, might the banshee wail?—
we are all taken back to a time when
they were a tincture of the soil, its blood.

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Two Nights

February 12, 2016

Could these two grapes be
enough fragrance for the world?
Could these two grapes be
enough fragrance for the world?
How rich is their luster,
how sweet they are when eaten,
how lonely they become
when separated—
A cat’s eyes peer through the fence—
fierce, effective, and unafraid—
unblinking in their thoughtfulness,
unswerving in their attention.
Where is the moon light
while all this is happening?
Where is the growth in the garden?
The asphodels and forsythia?
The frozen earth sighs.
Could these two orbs be all there is?
A fragrance for this night only?

February 8, 2016