"Now, by holding the stem and backing a long way off, all the way out of your life to a ledge above a dry pool, you could own the flower."

More Perihelion:

Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

Need to Know



Issue 10: Out on a Limb

Issue 9: The Missing Body

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Robin Behn

Richard Garcia

John Hennessy

Adrian Matejka

Ayukawa Nobuo

Eunice Odio

Kathryn Rantala

Anna Ross

Mathias Svalina

Larissa Szporluk

Kevin Tsai

Robin Behn

Autumn Cafe

Sometimes her old love

         season of lessenings, season of dolor

would pass through town as the broomgrass was dying

         fragrant seasoning, tinge of Other

and wait for her in the fragile dark

         season of sickle, of brooding beet

inside the coffee shop whose light

         season of keening, uncountable sleet

like a yellow tooth would shine out into the street

         the burnished, the banished, here they meet

and she would have to walk through the light

         reasons, reckonings, ruin, hard rain

that got on her coat and stayed there,

         folded bird of the season of his name

the sheen of love’s penumbra

         Season be nimble, be quiet, be quick

allowed in this public place,

         Season don’t stumble, don’t be chased

and as she takes her place in the booth at the back

         green, familiar wilderness

opposite him in whose presence

         a vision, Season, in your best dress

her heart holds still as lemons

         Season          Season

in the grove where the god who made them


tasted them and said they were good

         your new, your, ah, long hair

for bitterness is transmuted


when stirred by its first sweetness--


she finds that behind his glasses

         two clear lemons lying on their sides

he has remained shy and lovely

         precede him, whatever he decides

having spent the rest of his life writing books

         the pages when she finds them in a store

in which someone’s dreams

         blinding, more

of someone beget something,

         like certainty,

a season.


The Yellow House for Sale

The stairway heard and has begun
the long walk down out of its heavens.
Four skates, two bicycles,
armchair with two shrugs.
No way to carry them.
Only the stake through the lawn’s heart
is real.

Petunia, begonia, bee, gone.
They were never here.
But the daffodil bulbs go with,
filthy pendants buried
where earth was made to swallow, healed.
Only, next life, green knives from some past war appear
to guard yellow mouths full of black arrows--surreal.

Is it that the house is ready to be of?
Of her? The child? The town?
Reluctance? Consequence?
Of sun? Of snow? Of gain?
Of that which falls to earth again?
The house only appears
to leer. From the ad. To be offered up as real.

Is it because the boy asked
Can we stay forever?
Something built of wishes got
transmuted into fishes, into sun,
yellow walls flashing yellow as sunfishes--
built only of language
yellow was, and was real.

The yellow house for sale.
All its angles proferred.
Its small state-liness. Li-
nesses. Lionesses. Its sweet
inward space about to be erased.
Tell only if they ask:
Naturally. It’s real. So real

that, in the yard, in swirling umber thought,
something erupts:
winding, striding, wailing, curving
--ripe fish on a reel--and then
gone. Disappeared. Into the lot.
And there’s a lot of lot.
The cat, if you find him, is part of the deal.



Peel the petals back, the spillage back,
the fists of paleness back from smouldering blue

to the color of fire to the color of fire burnt to time.
Now, by holding the stem and backing a long way off,

all the way out of your life to a ledge
above a dry pool, you could own the flower.

But the Other has set out a vase.
So now it is a charcoal sketch

of how rain wishes, crookedly, to fall.
Tenderness in the junctures.

Stemming from a pool into which the skater vanishes.
As into the lion’s eye tameness.

As into the body with your voice inside it,

and into the body with O’s voice inside it,

finally goes the flower.
The single blackened eyestalk.

What seeing did.
What desire wants to be shriven to the shape of.

Why in the world
this flower.


Of the Two Muses

only one is dead.
But the equation balances:
one’s life is to the other’s death

what want is to what
we were that time and
that time, that time

erased. Here is my clock
with the hours washed off,
still pool for the woken dead

and for the merely waking to kiss,
stone tongues upon a watery face
making one rippled wheel and then another

in its place, wider, wider,
the wagon keeping pace until, in the end,
I hear the huge horses,

what’s left of me is horses,
the big leather hearts iron
feet and smoothened straps--.

I never had a horse.
I may have been the one girl in the world
who never asked for one.

And got one.
Now two cracked straps

latch the watch to my wrist.
Slow and Slower, my loves
make rounds, exist.