Features

Dear Skull

beloved braincase, body’s bleeding heart

helmet law

 

dear ribs thick with implied meat, disused central

railroad, reverse spec house unplumbed

to propitious frame

 

dear double-strung forearm, dear violin bow,

 

dear pachyderm-eared pelvis, . . .

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Alva and the Complex Pool

You see, sooner or later, everything falters 

into radiance. The smallest components of our pent-up 

 

contingencies ignite. Energy shimmers in every cell. 

This afternoon, for example, from the balcony 

 

of my condo, in which I have lived exactly 

three years, . . .

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I Get to Float Invisible

Someone’s sister in Europe writing her

adultery poems late night, half bottle 

of wine pretty much required. 

 

And they’re good, they really are— 

 

The things one hears in an elevator. 

Perfect strangers. . . .

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The New Day

Enters in the heroic mode, feathered

And helmeted, muscle-bound

 

For glory, smelling of scorch. Raise

That sword a little higher

 

If you can lift it and buckle your straps

Tight. Insert fanfare. . . .

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Sk8r

June, 1985

If it had been night, the neighbors wouldn’t have stared at Ilsa in the back of the squad car. In darkness, the blue and red lights overhead might strobe her mother and Harold into sight, but Ilsa would have remained invisible. The fight was between those two anyway; . . .

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Mad Pieces

1.

In 1392, King Charles VI of France suffered the first of forty-four recorded psychotic episodes, turning on his soldiers and killing four before he was subdued. During subsequent bouts of insanity, he forgot he was king or thought he was Saint George, failed to recognize his wife, . . .

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Smoking with the Dead and Wounded

For many years, I practiced the art of dying. During my enlistment as an active duty infantryman in the U.S. Army, I died more times than I can remember. I was blown up by a simulated hand grenade inside a mock village at Camp Rilea, on the Oregon coast. A sniper killed me as the snow fell in Fort Drum, . . .

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