"Ulterior avenues, I will not take you."

More Perihelion:

BobSward's Writer's Friendship Series


Needto Know



Issue9: The Missing Body

Issue8: The Lily

Issue7: Passages

Issue6: No More Tears

A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Quan Barry

Cal Bedient

Joshua Bell

Nadia Colburn

Carolina Ebeid

Odysseas Elytis

Nathalie Handal

Connie Hershey

Timothy Liu

Drago Stambuk

Franz Wright

Franz Wright

Old Story

First the telephone went,
the electricity.

It was cold,
and they both went to sleep
as though dressed for a journey.

Like addictions condoned
from above evening
fell, lost

leaves waiting
to come back as leaves--
the long snowy divorce. . .

That narrow bed, a cross
between an altar
and an operating table. Voice

saying, While I was alive
I loved you.
And I love you now.



Snow over the scarred fields just ending, between clouds
a candle in a horse skull
at dawn--
My sin is always before me.

In the end the price of understanding
everything will be, of
its communication
to those who stand around you,
the complete and absolute

does this mean
I won't remember
Earth? Perhaps
it does, but
I don't know.
Soon I will find out.

                             Snow over

the scarred fields
just ending,
what lies
before me is my past.
That is,

should I father a fatherless child.


To John Wieners: Elegy & Response

The street outside
the window says
I don't miss you, and I don't wish you well

Says crocuses
coaxed out of hiding
and killed in the snow

Says six o'clock and a billion black birds
wheeling, and the dusk stars
wait, and the avalanche waits--

And have you looked at the paper today

Medical research discloses
that everyone is going to die
of something

Ulterior avenues, I will not take you

Supernaturally articulate pencil, where the heaven
of lost objects are you

Beginning summer now, incredibly close
clouds like an illustration
that disturbed you as a child

Appalling and incomprehensible mercy--

The seeing see only this world.



Gray little clumps weightless as hair dust what is it

Forty years later
utterly unrecognizable
save for our eyes

that is, were we to meet--



Think of a sheep
knitting a sweater;
think of your life
getting better & better.

Think of your cat
asleep in a tree;
think of that spot
where you once skinned your knee.

Think of a bird
which stands in your palm;
try to remember
the 21st Psalm.

Think of a big pink horse
galloping south;
think of a fly, and
close your mouth.

If you feel thirsty, then
drink from your cup.
The birds will keep singing
until they wake up.