"using lust, that dominant drug, to disguise aggression..."

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Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

Need to Know



Issue 13: Free Form

Issue 12: The Necessary Ear

Issue 11: The Necessary Eye

Issue 10: Out on a Limb

Issue 9: The Missing Body

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

Paula Bohince


Unhook the hornets’ mummified home—
soft amplifier
of a cadence that is real.

Knot in an oaken body rolling in, cycling out,
resonating rumors of wool and tin,
evaporated stream and water-ghosts
unshackled from matter.
A far off regiment pounds.
Woods are fraught with ghosts of all sorts:
both horn-blowers and swarms
drawn into a home,
horn-shaped and blighted by snow.

Soaked wool, spoiled tin—
the ranks fly in towards their whorled center.

Spiraling autograph of sound
too loud to hear, the hornets exist solely
as a critical wind, a horror.



The love-struck deer is asking, with his eyes
and tongue, is asking, with black gums and quivering
limbs, to be let in—

grinding against the actual gristle and crystal of salt,
wetted and domed in the forest’s center.
Someone else’s pleasure is always present.

The lick’s a sensate toy, a voyeur, watching him work:
shrinking her body by the second,
using lust, that dominant drug, to disguise aggression.

Apologies to the soaked ground, marked with arcs:
trampled bed, doomed intersection.


White-Gold Wings

See my inability to get us there?

I ask you to picture the nacre
of oyster heart—quicksilver in a palm,
money shucked out—

and you envision the Bronx:
bachelor polar bear in a rug-pose
in his artificial Arctic,
the nerve of humidity
lifting up his translucent needles,
his white-gold wings.
Your fluttering mind
wants a tent pumped with butterflies—

three hundred species for a dollar

sucking petri dishes
of fluorescent caviar, sipping
the mists erupting every minute in this
imitation Amazon.

It’s no use.
The exit—those black rubber strips
that remind you of the entrance
to a leather bar,
is far.

In here, it’s high class—
pamphlets in Latin, centerfolds of bodies
hinged like paper lanterns.

What are you looking at?

The shadowbox on the wall?
Drab husks pinned to cork—today’s
hatchlings, grinding against glass.

You like playing God?
Knowing they’re alive because of us?