Truth for the Victim: Fifth Wake

  Truth for the Victim   Wake has become lost Three summonings have failed to raise him   “But,” M. de Clieux says, “the case is odd. This woman, …like them all,” he laughs, “confuses me. What is the dénouement?” To the expert (that nobleman from Rennes) in dead languages, the guest nods. “That we […]

The Impresario: an alphabet (part twenty-three)

  Part Twenty-Three   A laughing cadre of three…Pierre, the Dauphin Enter with the ease of welcome guests They, and the young man, Renald Pass in chatter the vintner’s threshold Pierre notes Tortu waits them by the hearth, alone. Forcing a smile, he says, “Renald. You must join our guild, and leave your fields to […]

Confidante: Fourth Wake

  Confidante   Travel, if that were the cause of it A career of amputating limbs…a bent Towards a ruthless, curious, yearning to experiment Perhaps an inclination when he spoke Of all humanity’s being one To place himself outside of it Howitt, the only friend I’d known   Wake’s voice dies at this.   A […]

Two Reunions: Hammersmith (seven)

  Two Reunions   He was lying as though asleep, his trousers rolled, knees bent, his bare feet under water. “Ah!” Ruby said. “Is it cold?” She thought she hadn’t meant to say this aloud. It was only that the flood waters had been so cold, like ice. The poor Professor, him with the French […]

Surgeon to the Bowfin: Third Wake

  Surgeon to the Bowfin   “I am a respectable woman. Inspector, I still feel myself at sixes and sevens. I believe I took the greater shock today.” “Now, ma’am. I hope you’ve thought of it— The assailant could well have cast aside those letters.” She tells him she accepts it may be fancy. Yes, […]

The Impresario: an alphabet (part twenty-two)

    Part Twenty-Two   Pierre signs to his three companions, palm to palm Closes this L like a trap door shutting on A bird in hand…or tiger by the tail They know their roles The wax-man can grow no paler, but glowers and drops his jaw The Dauphin returns a thin, ironic smile While […]

Rerun: Gravity Hold the Moon

For Earth Day. (April 22)     Gravity Hold the Moon   Gravity hold the moon Being that we haven’t drowned ourselves We haven’t known If the shift and sway of a fatter sea Would jolt the center Miscalculate our science And cast you free We fly away with our celestial tin cup To learn […]

Marching Orders: Hammersmith (six)

  Marching Orders   The banqueting hall, hung with tapestries that seemed to emit an odor of medieval sweat (authentic, Mack was willing to believe) had an oblong table, where this knighthood of American purity sat decidedly in order of precedence. He was at the foot. At least he supposed so. At his back, a […]

Bon Marché: Second Wake

  Bon Marché   What makes a thing grow to a torment Not a thing, Wake tells himself. He has fallen prey The succubus has dealt him night for day. The Queen’s road constable falls in beside him. “Fine evening, sir.” “How,” says Wake, rigid, and refusing to eye him, “may I be of assistance […]

Rerun: The Tick of a Second Hand

My Titanic poem. Harry Widener, one of the victims, had purchased while abroad a 1598 edition of Francis Bacon’s essays. It was in his possession when he went down with the ship.     The Tick of a Second Hand   The landing gear came down And a long becalming slick Smothered the water in a […]