Colin James

Two poems

AN ANTI THEIST’S SURRENDER

The lines of children were cognizant
of an uprising. This was evident in
their diffidence to the wind and the way
scars healed from the inside despite
a continuous onslaught of moral beatings,
the noble bullies barely having time to adjust.
Fatalistically, the swooning became the resolve.

CHOKING ON AFFLUENCE, THE COUGH SYMPTOMS

I watched some human like insects
scale my foot and drill into
the bone above the ankle.
I felt nothing.
Waist bent anomalously
ears, eyes closer.
They climbed higher
voices, not pronounced words.
They reached the top of my head
just as the sun was giving up.
I went cross eyed trying to explain,
this was not substantively organic.

 

Colin James has a book of poems Resisting Probability from Sagging Meniscus Press and a chapbook A THOROUGHNESS NOT DEPRIVED OF ABSURDITY. He lives in Massachusetts.

Walter Hoelbling

gone

where have conversations gone
long time passing
where have all our love words gone
long time ago
where have all our love words gone
mobiles took them, every one
when will we ever learn
I hope they will return

wiehere have all the mobiles gone
long time passing
where have all the notebooks gone
long time ago
where have all the kindles gone
turned to tablets, every one
when will we ever learn
there will be no return

where have all the tablets gone
long time passing
where have all the smart phones gone
long time ago
where have all these gadgets gone
been recycled every one
never they will return
never they will return

where have all the users gone
long time passing
where have all the texters gone
long time ago
there lie all the facebooks slain
people try to speak again
when will we ever learn
hope they again can learn

 

Obviously trying to do a half-serious, twitter-age version of Peter Seeger’s “Where have all the flowers gone?” (My favorite rendering is by Peter, Paul, and Mary)

Bill Cotter

Two Poems

COMING UPON

Incautious, still, and breaking the peace
Of the lake, I hear the swan’s unease
And sense, in its startled trumpetings,
Time is measured in the beating of wings.

Across the brown veined beds of reeds
Now rippling and dropping their silver beads,
There comes the sound of whisperings,
“Time is measured in the beating of wings.”

Coerced from shadows into light
And tense with the need to take to flight,
She knows, caught in the water’s transient rings,
Time is measured in the beating of wings

And, so, on the heard puffs of air,
She rises, high and higher, where,
Expanding and blue, the sky sings,
“Time is measured in the beating of wings.”

ECHO

from Bird Song

I cannot replicate the sweetness of those notes
I heard at dawn; the player’s joy
Is his alone. But, yet, in hearing, floats
A raft of memories to buoy,
Persist, but never cloy
And so, on the fading edge of dusk and thought
There remains an echo of a song and the joy it brought.

Ian C. Smith

Three Poems

Artifice

He photographs her on the Cobb at Lyme Regis,
a shadowy shot to be published in a journal
unimagined then like other scenarios
destiny stores between expectation and realisation.

They had read The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
Wave-smash sprays her op-shop cape
as if a film is being enacted in a surf-hiss of grief,
a heartsore woman staring seaward from the revetment.

Absorbed, they learn of a town, its yeomanry, transformed,
chaos caused by the adaptation of a romance.
Karel Reisz repeatedly directed a scene set in 1867,
sheep driven over muddied cobbles past this teashop.

They lean in, picturing soldiers in scarlet tunics,
the cinema dormant in destiny’s plot development.
His staged photograph forms part of memory’s mirage,
a film location he would revisit if possible.

For many seasons he travels only in his thoughts,
acknowledges novels are devices, artificial,
as John Fowles didactically reminded readers,
so too, films with towns disguised as the past.

Another book, about tramping England’s eroding coast
below Lyme’s fossilized cliffs, carries him sweetly back.
He recalls her cape, touch, dark green velvet,
wonders what became of it, of the characters they were.

Mme. Blanchard hits the roof

Summer, 1819, Napoleon grounded, but not human spirit.
Those basket cases, balloonists, hang in clouds.

Paris by night, a sight to die for.
To reach for the sky is the French tradition,
so, too, looking down on people.
She looks good in that Regency style,
diminutive, décolletage cinched above a high waist,
dressed to kill, you could say, or to be killed.
She is the queen of fireworks, pity about hydrogen.

In the Tivoli Gardens the bandstand rocks,
warm air above lit by her Bengal lights.
A magical rain showers the sky silver and gold
from parachute bombs she lights with a long taper,
thrills revellers whose murmur drifts up to her
floating inadvertently close to a sparkling heaven,
a suitable distance from her terror of crowds.

Riding her gondola, a skimpy thing like herself,
she sees her balloon ablaze, begins her descent,
feathered hat lost, a rushed farewell performance.
The house roof’s pitch steep, her rigging tangled,
fire almost out, burned, broken, she can’t hang on,
she who once remained aloft all night over Rome.
It’s me. Help! Sophie gasps, then the cobbles.

Not VCs, VD

They huddle sorry-arsed on the platform sharing Turf cigarettes,
faces above khaki greatcoats, demeanour, of older men,
any ideals of medals not what they imagined,
inventing tales, their ultimate destination vague,
a vanishing point joked about but yearned for.
They watched back yards passing by, recalled games,
kitbags in the rack, windows streaked, their gaze opaque,
no risk now of being blown up, yet their world askew.

Crown land, an exclusion zone, rude architecture,
kangaroos and copperheads patrolling the bluish bush,
army doctors’ blunt indifference unmitigated by nurses,
women soon to be only memories of mixed emotions;
porridge and penicillin, a muddle of menial tasks,
a caste quarantined from locals who believe propaganda;
troop movement, training exercises, returning heroes,
who remain ignorant of anything to do with this lot.

Look, there I am long after the war was over, a boy searching
for his lost dog he will never see again, walking
away from the murmur of his family’s regret, almost
stepping on a coiled snake under the cover of trees,
calling, whistling for things to be as they were.
He reaches the old army reserve where a breeze stirs,
nudges his cigarette smoke, a flap of cardboard on a shed,
sunlight on a soiled window as if trapped there long before.

 

Ian C Smith, P.O.Box 9262, Sale, 3950, Australia icsmithpoet@gmail.com

Vivien Eime

12 poems and two poèms en prose

in time

hurry the day when
i may be out of the race
say what i like
spit peas out at night.

perhaps this time will be gold
methinks if it were
my heart would breathe at last
my tears might be less and
my shoulder more able

refuse to drip blood
and do not ooze
stay within me so i may
be thicker with myself.

 

herald

the brightest light
flies ahead, calling
back as the avant-garde.
the mass of strength
trusts her sight and
follows faithfully
as she holds her
heraldry responsibly.
a glimmer to begin and
the mass to cover the
wake.

 

a lump too bulky

i gather the falls of my life
and make a pile; a lump too
bulky to kick along this endless dusty road.

with a shiver of power
a candle lit is added,
innocent only seconds before.

the lick of fire creates
waxen tears as the felled pile erupts.

through the flames
the road is clear.

 

first slipper

leaf claws extend from the stump of a frangipani arm
as i walk beneath the moon’s first slipper;
evening frost of a sunfilled day dampens my skin;
touching my cheek brings me back into my surrounds.
i am reminded of the earth as it spins
the reality of asphalt
the intrusion of traffic lights
the harsh treatment of mind over body
and the simplicity of my heart.
how desperately i try to control my tears.
clutching my clothes to gain strength to overcome
a wrenching need to pour my eyes away completely.
a cool instruction binding me closed:
be calm
relax
and don’t be sad.

 

her

i don’t know how to speak of her.
not strange as she has no words of her own.
objectively though, you’d think there was
a chance to have her stated, even blankly;
for one crushed – just existing.
we even know the cause of extinguishment
– time and circumstance the assassin –
what is that though but dough for baking
into bread – cut spread and eaten, it passes
through to become process unto its own extinction.
on from the meal of recognition lies choice.
arise from the table, clear implements,
place all right and know it is complete.
a stage; a section; a feast of self.
or, hover ‚mongst the mess of preparation
stagnate with prey eaten; sigh with satiation
and fall slothlike into sleep and dream.

Uninspiring? yes, it is. i agree.

so there are no words to describe her
except, perhaps, she still lives.

 

scarlet woman

i once clenched my jaw and proffered
my chin never wincing as the pincers
gripped and pulled.
the lips that were ground with
another pair accepted any pain as necessary to endure.
but tonight i will proffer my jaw
unclenched; will wait to feel the
pincers lose interest.
tonight the razor edge of
discovery will slash away
the other pair of lips
which bind me to pain.
i shall wrench myself
free with one slash.
one bright red slash.
‚tis a vision of the
pool of blood which
spurs me on.
to emerge smeared and sinewed
to the surface. wait for
the reddish veil to slip
and see sights clear.

 

decision

a cry in the inner sanctum
a corridor out
step quickly into it
and out
you see the door – its open!
now – OUT.
and don’t turn back,
for if you do you’ll see
the screamer;
have a thought to
reach back in and
save her
but she’ll be running
to slam the door
and your arm shall be caught
snap.

 

the importance of punctuation

the sound of a bass voice:
a true connection to the
inky black from which we squirt.

should we say sir?
should we say madam.

and the bass booms:
in the black, people,
address does not matter.
remember only your end
in fullstop.

 

viewing humanity

by the light of a distant star
a great heard viewed from a distance
hears a scream issue forth.

their heads incline and, intent,
their feet shuffle as they
whisper who its it? who screams?

yes. yes? others mutter and why.

it is one of their own, one
who has left her washed clothes dripping
and views humanity from afar.

 

to be struck down dead

i do not wish to die
– of course –
but to be struck down dead.
to have a javelin crack gunshot
cleave my shirt into a crimson soak;
hear a shrill ring build until
i fall bent to my knees as
the grey sponge bursts.

to leave in a band
instead of a
wheezing
choir.

 

when

is the most demanding voice I have
when cold fictual mass en masse emerges.

over short or long, traversed or un,
above the ready world I sit alone to consider
I am an innately selfish creature and
there are oh so many more of me.

true, with a desire – even though ‚tis only
an inkling – toward generosity.
ah – but this I see is trace of survival
immaturity.

behold the species and be brave.

 

she will smile

a slim juggler of buttered curls
attempting to ignore a
temporary existence
bites at specific points
in her self made arcs.

no time to pine
whilst she remains in action
fear not the motion
as it is self which propels.

the feet are firmly planted after all.

 

Two Seasons

cacklehoned

spring. in the sun. lying on grass with my twin skin next to me. close next to me. watching wispy clouds relating stories in 3-d. mermaids meet dragons clasp hands to dissipate into a wishing well with 2 jills and no jack. modern times. modern stories.

is it true that butterflies evolve from caterpillars and live for a week? crawl through winter to fly into spring. only for a week? or was it only for a day. do i remember a day or a week. would they?

i feel the grass on my back, imagine myself long only eating eating eating eating until a silent call urges me to coil my long self into a ball. coocooned and waiting. imagine.

rolling over now to begin the coil and come face to face with my twin skin. out of my imagination – out of my coocoon – face to face. me and my twin skin touching front to front. eyes an inch from eyes noses receding from the pressure breast to breast hips hipped knees and feet balancing. i wonder why i don’t fall in. melted by the sun. to just meld. we could name ourself cainannabelle or joan whale. i realise we wouldn’t survive on one income. a tragedy. devastation on such a beautiful day.

earthed from dreams i stretch and feel my stomach growl. think about dinner. remember the grass and begin to graze.

black hued lacklore

suddenly winter. i rise above a leunig landscape and it is night. such a sense of light as i glide toward the stars (or the few that he will allow) a venused grouplinged heaven where orion, upturned, only ever stands fist raised.

from where did i acquire wings? and how long may i have them?? i am not dead for they are brown and i am glad, absurdly, to have vision bifocal… suddenly feel for the ibis.

thoughts of all those things that i have left as my home whisper and flood my mind as i glide. i have left them, left them all. i spy you and wonder where your home is; hover, continuing to spy your lone figure foot watching toward a raised flat stone. still now, father sown and mother tended, allowing one tear to well and fall you talk as if those you visit are still where you placed them feet together eyes closed.

to whom do you speak? and your head turns – as does mine – to find the owl. but it is i who hooted. i who spoke… a feather flicks in my mouth. i am the owl… madam as seen in the master’s world. i have stepped over the welcome mat, cut my legs from the earth to find i appear only ever as another’s vision.

too easily this sadness may bind me – for i know what it is to live for the other – look up so i might breathe space and catch the larger vision… at last sense my advance. each toe has an end you see.

with a tremor i prepare to travel with wings – in flight! fassung, twit-twoo.

Holly Lalena Day

Three Pieces

Pat Buchanon

Make me believe you, Pat Buchanon,
icon preaching from the shaky t.v. screen, sandwiched between Kmart
blue-light specials and ads condemning herion
my own brand of shakes. Raise my body, cruciform
from this nightmare of cold sweats and invisible centipedes
this place empty of everything and nothing, the words „junky“ and „nigger“

that greet me every morning. The kike
that owns my building worships Pat Buchanon,
gives me that sour look as I walk past his own room, free of roaches
stocked with knickknacks and furniture I could only dream of finding at Kmart
during any sort of special. I slip pictures of Jesus, spread cruciform,
under his door, something in exchange for the herion

he never has. He’s the one that got me started on herion,
old Yid doctor, him and his wife who looks more like a Chink
than a Jew—watched her body bend, cruciform,
opening for me the first time we kicked together, Pat Buchanon
omnipresent on the t.v., and again in my room, on my own Kmart
linen, flicking and stomping out German cockroaches

crawling on the walls and the floor. I arched like a spider
over her tiny soft body, felt the herion
try to steal my erection as the t.v. blared Kmart
commercials in another room. I don’t know what nigger
would or could watch t.v. while his wife was getting the Pat Buchanon
from someone like me. I closed her cruciform

around my small wounds, closed her cruciform
around me, against the onslaught of millipedes
and roaches, closed us off from a world of Pat Buchanon
sound bites blasting eternal, asked silent what herion
did for her, little rich girl, having her night out with a black man
while her husband ate popcorn and puked, junk-sick himself, during Kmart

intermissions where everyone looked just like his wife. In Kmart,
you never find teenaged white models, lying cruciform
on beachtowels, modelling swimsuits. You find nigger
drug addicts pushing overflowing shopping carts of ant and roach
killer, some new form of drug less addictive than herion,
the people master Pat Buchanon

likes to pretend don’t exist: the minority coloured that don’t like Buchanon
either, crawling from crab-infested beds to face working at Kmart
binding themselves, cruciform, to each other, like herion.

Boots IV

Boots kicked the boy.
The small boy was lying in a pile of corpses.
Someday, a woman will trace the long white scars on your back and ask where they came from.
He scattered a handful of razorblades on the ground.
Someday, your own son will go to war.
This will all fade to yearly get-togethers with old army buddies.
Someday, reporters will ask you what you did during the war.
You will get a brief five minutes on a Time Life home video for this.
If your child is born with no arms or legs, will it seem unfair?
All the old ghosts will be replaced with new ones.
Boots stood nearly seven feet tall.
The man reached into the left breast pocket of his uniform.
Boots had hair so blond it was almost white.
Boots dragged the small body over the pile of blades.
„Let’s play a game,“ Boots said to the boy.
The child’s arms were around the waist of his mother.
In war, certain people become shining stars.
Skin peeled away like the flesh of a potato.
„You are not really dead.“
A piece of metal sank deep into the boy’s pale cheek.
Someday, your child will ask you what you did during the war.
The boy’s eyes opened as if in shock.
He swung the little boy high into the air, high above the bodies of his dead parents.
No blood poured from the black holes in the boy’s body.
Bombs went off in the background.
Bombs set just over the next hill, a sunset in the wrong direction.
Boots grabbed the little boy’s right hand and right foot.
The sharp metal of the razors sliced thin through the boy’s face.
Someday, this will all be washed away in Prozac numbness, in the peace of a military nursing home.
Boots had a very large penis.
Boots made a point of inserting his penis in every dead person he came across.
He swung the little boy lower, lower to the ground, until the body was dragging over the ground.
The white of the little boy’s eyes stared straight at Boots.
„You are not really dead.“

Donor

When I think about my brain
deep inside my head, I take
another breath. I think about
my lungs, giant airbags inflating,
deflating, deep inside my chest.

The bones protect them. Protect
me. They are a cage for my
potentially rebellious organs. I can feel them
deep inside my body, waking up,
going to sleep.

Waiting for that
potential auto accident,
anaesthetised surgery, when the
ivory gates are opened, the prisoners
exposed. Ready to leap out and
escape. My heart rattles against the
backs of my lungs, rattling at the bars
of my ribs.

I could refuse to breathe,
let them atrophy to nothing,
cave them into
submission.

I can feel them deep inside me
waking up
going to sleep

ready to leap out
at the slightest
provocation

Copyright

Nigel Roberts

In Casablanca for the waters

As Brian Bell said

Naked as –
& today
she is born –
she strokes
the hairy squab / to her
mine of salt diamonds / then
settles / back
to the blue cushions

Wie Brian Bell sagte

Völlig nackt –
& heute
ist sie geboren –
sie streicht
die haarige jungtaube / zu ihrer
salzkristall-grube / dann
lehnt sie sich / zurück
in die blauen kissen

Modigliani nude
but / as Brian Bell
once said
loudly / in Farmers Print Gallery
any crab about / line
texture
or the influence of
african sculpture
completely / evades the fact
that Modigliani
painted her / as
she wished
from her cunt
out.
aber / wie Brian Bell
einmal geräuschvoll
sagte / in Farmers Print Gallery
jeder mist über / linien
struktur
oder den einfluß der
afrikanischen skulptur
weicht völlig / der tatsache aus
dass Modigliani
sie malte / so wie
sie es wünschte
aus ihrer spalte
heraus.
Divider Line
The bed

our world is flat.
this           may be contrary
to       est       opinion       but
a fact                  supported
by four wrought iron legs
& from one of these
a china castor
is missing.

columbus
i seek no new worlds                  i
will remain here
to chart
this isabella’s
coastline.

Das Bett

unsere welt ist flach.
das           mag im gegensatz stehen
zur       etabl       meinung       aber
eine tatsache                  unterstützt
durch vier gußeiserne beine
& wovon einer
einen porzellanfuß
vermisst.

kolumbus
ich suche keine neue welt                  ich
werde hier bleiben
um die küstenlinie
jener isabella
zu zeichnen.

Divider Line

Das Mona Lisa Geschirrtuch

The Mona Lisa tea towel

Not
in the Louvre behind
bullet proof glass
but liberated by
The Tiger Mountain
Tea Towel & Printing Collective
in hommage
to Duchamp
& the dadaist spirit
of the peoples republic
of China –
The Mona Lisa
on linen / printed
as linen / washed
as weathered flag
pegged to the Hills Hoist
upside down.

Das Mona Lisa Geschirrtuch

Nicht
im Louvre hinter
kugelsicherem glas
sondern befreit durch
Das Tiegerberge
Geschirrtuch & Druck Kollektiv
eine huldigung
an Duchamp
& den dadaistischen geist
der volksrepublik
China –
Die Mona Lisa
auf leinen / gedruckt
wie leinen / gewaschen
als wetterfahne
geklemmt an die Wäschespinne
verkehrt herum.

Deutsch von Gerald Ganglbauer

Stephen K. Kelen

Trans-Sumatran Highway & Other Poems

House Of Rats

They’re up there, all right,
in the roof playing scrabble, listening to
scratchy old Fats Waller records.
They started out as a gang of desperadoes
escaped from a laboratory,
arrived via a garbage truck
up overhanging tree branches
elbowed their way in & soon
the colony is an empire of rats
who eat the insulation batts
chew wires, through the ceiling
to ransack the kitchen
take bites out of everything
& carry off furniture. I can hear them
scurrying with bits & pieces, hammering & sawing:
they’re building houses – a model rat town – with
imitation garages to park stolen toy cars in.
After munching down another box of double strength poison
the rats are back at work with a vengeance, thump
around the rafters insulating the house with rat shit.
Or hard at love writhing, squealing
like sick starlings or kicked puppies. The weaker explode
and TV screens fill with rats‘ blood but there’s
more where they came from. Teeming over
mountains, down valleys, jamming highways, falling
off bridges to scurry ashore up storm water drains.
Exterminators arrive dressed as astronauts and poison
the house for ten thousand years. It’s time to move out.
But the rats have laid eggs in your pockets, stow
away, follow you from house to house.
The curse enters its exponential phase.
Tentacles unwind from the ceiling, dirty great moths
and leopard slugs take over your happy home.
Soon you are a trellis. That’s just what the rats say.
I’m down here listening to radio messages,
oiling automatic weapons, building rockets.
Living in a rat’s belly.

 

Trans-Sumatran Highway

Is a race track built for carts, winds a silver spell over a dragon’s back.
The bus has no front brakes and our lives are God’s will,
Life turns with the wheels
The bus stops at a walking highway.

Hello Money, the children welcome you, smile sweetly,
their eyes shine sun and mountain.
Rickety rope bridges criss-cross the Bohorok River
that surges the approaching mountain tsunami.
And at the head of the river is the Jungle Inn
where the manager registers guests in the heart of darkness.
Elements are real, everything else is a game or trick
and at night the mountain gods demonstrate glee.
Sheet lightning frames river & forest in white light
shows the once quiet river is black and angry
with churning mud. Air crackles, lightning in the river
flash flash the lightning is in us electric humans.
The wind brings the cries of angry elephants
river swells like high sea &
on its banks the bamboo towns wait.

Every Sunday gibbons, white and black monkeys
overrun villages on the Trans-Sumatra Highway.
Occasionally, a bamboo tiger kitten will stray…
A ragged boy chases a bicycle wheel with a stick
through coffee and pepper trees.

Beyond the Government Orang-utan Sanatorium,
past the final waterfalls and bamboo walls
far from the rice paddy’s jaws and grinding saws
a tiger roars his name Harimau, Harimau, Harimau.
Closer to town, it’s weekend fun and the end for a honeybear
and her cubs squaring up to a pack of hunting dogs.
Back at the Jungle Inn, mushrooms explode
in a vicious brew specially prepared for Hari Merdeka.
Drink magic the sky sings, stars form themselves
into a map of the archipelago.
Fireworks
on TV with the sound turned down,
the President’s Jakarta parade elicits much laughter.
As it is a holiday appease volcano spirits
with sacrifices of lit cigarettes,
leave rice on roofs for storms to eat.
Hungry rain.

Almost facing the Malacca Straits, Medan is a city that chokes
on vinyl air, satellite dishes mount tenements‘
rusted iron roofs       TVs shout foreign devilry.
Smoky traffic, honking horns, crunching gears.
Air burns. It might be Hell but above the din
a 200 decibel call to prayer echoes in every heart.

Hectares of sweets & crunchy treats
fill bustling Bukittinggi markets where everyone just eats.
Here Zeus lands and falls in love with a cocktail waitress
from Nias and this event recurs daily,
a portent amplified by a convention of Batak gangsters
at the Modern Hotel, Parapet,
looms in the Muslim Women’s League
Brestagi branch’s deliberations.

Deeper in the markets‘ maze darkness eats daylight
stalls sell sweets for cruel tastes,
there’s a fresh tiger on display
(tracked for eight days in Jambi Province).
Benny the jammu is running with bottles
to drain the cat’s blood fast so it’s bottled hot
while his apprentice has the arduous task of grinding bones/
Toto has a buyer for the skin and the Sultan of Dash
has first options on the penis; the brain is eaten
on the spot. Whiskers and whatever’s left will be spread thinly
through an assortment of teas, pills and jellies for export.

Along a track winding through rice fields, a boy
chases a bicycle wheel with a stick.
Lake Maninjau’s scenery shifts about, sky trades
colours with mountains disguised as clouds
a billion shades of grey and blue
the crickets‘ song is everything.
Maninjau the poets‘ lake is serene with traffic’s non-stop zoom.
Old men in coolie hats paddle canoes to heaven.
The tourists‘ many-tongued chatter fires up
when the power fails, bark with gusto.
Sunset glistens across waking water
blinding as shaman’s dust.

(At Padang
catch the cockroach boat
for Tanjung Priok,
port of Jakarta )

 

Jack Blizzard

Open the refrigerator & it laughs
look outside at the white fire
twirling wildly
above an exploding deep freeze
from nowhere daggers
the white whirl upward, upward
down & ever in
deep chill atoms collide
in ode to the wind
lizards of snow
blow along the road
then the lizards twist
into rough helixes
that sweep themselves
& let go

Jack Blizzard stands at the edge of town
he breathes in & car batteries die
slicks the road and exhales harder—
that man headed home
won’t make it this time-—
a thin picnic blanket
locked in the trunk—
anyway car doors froze—
the snow dance—a burning lung—
white twist—the poor man shouts—
blood holes up finally in its canyon—
gleam popsicle & stalagmite
—then the letting go—one breath
glazes him to the windscreen.

The houses are shaking, a tubercular
whistle pitches high into scream
drops hard to bang on the window
like passing thunder.
Old Jack Blizzard’s at the door, now,
chainsaw laughing as he tricks the lock
blows it open, whirls things like a hay devil
and you have to push so hard to get him out.

Jack cackles down Main Street,
takes an ice hammer from his belly
smashes himself into a thousand shards
and where he stood
poisoned wolf is born,
who bites the ass
of a wino waking to his heart’s chill
and regurgitates bloody snow
stumble, prey to the wolf
gone long ago.

Windows roar as the ice seeds
hatch vapour renditions in the air:
coyote, jack rabbit, buffalo, and bear
join the wolf turning out of Main into Elm,
snow lizards powder the sidewalks
sweep all before, Jack’s fingers
glide under every door.