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, . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
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; . . . Read more
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, . . . Read more
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, . . . Read more
It looks like dancing the merengue,
like reading Anna Karenina on a tablet in the dark car,
the window’s greening glow against the night.
Or: like the horse in the stall waiting for the gun
and the gate thumping open. . . .
To love a thing
you can foresee:
a swallow flying
through a windstorm,
a teapot cracked.
A lopsided house,
stone roof off
center, . . .
Clouds, come down to sleep in the treetops—
if you’ve seen the pines’ wide boughs
cradle the snow, even from a distance,
you know they can hold you. Or float
yourself into a roofless, falling-down barn
and lie in the moldering hay. . . .
The MacEvoys had the pool dug out of their backyard in April of 1983. For three straight Saturdays in March, Bob Cobb and Dan Gray and Lee MacEvoy, in dungarees and sweatshirts, put their backs into saws and shovels and wheelbarrows. They dug up the lilac bushes along the north side of the property. . . . Read more