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 have yet to learn. Some private […]

The Impresario Part Twenty-Three

A laughing cadre of three, Pierre, the Dauphin Enter with the ease of welcome guests And with 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 seed. You showed […]

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 breath of sound […]

Hammersmith (seven)

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 name, so grand, Mr. […]

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, there are Good Samaritans in the […]

The Impresario 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 madame tosses her locks and […]

Rerun: Gravity Hold the Moon

For Earth Day. (April 22) 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 whether some other moon will have us […]

Hammersmith (six)

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 an order of precedence. He was at the foot. At least he supposed so, as at his back a vast oaken door swung […]

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, stiff, and refusing to eye him, “may I be of assistance to you?” “Pleasant, I […]

The Impresario Part Twenty-One

A sturdy yeoman parts the throng, striding through Escort to a queenly, doll-like dame Poupée’s grown son with wonder eyes The wax-man’s pallor, Regalus Kneels and cradles in her hand, madame’s Surprised, she asks, “How do you, child?” The lifted face beneath the cowl, surprises her as well As though the girl could spy the […]