What’s That Thing (1980s TV)

  What’s That Thing   The sidekick’s black Mustang swings a one-eighty A name freezes action on the screen We see him mouth a line and wave to somebody The portly old-timer, too, swings in his desk chair Phone to his left ear Face always stuck here Eyebrow arching, poised to scramble Young hotshot bound […]

Want Nothing Will Write: Hammersmith (fourteen)

  Want Nothing Will Write.   Aimee had taken one seat, facing the caboose, and Hogben had taken a prod from the passenger behind’s umbrella. He scuttled between seats and came to rest across from her, murmuring, “Pardon me, Mack.” “Well, here we are.” Aimee offered this, and her companion responded, “On our way.” He […]

A Book Report from the Zero Income Front

  A Book Report from the Zero Income Front:   My impression is that, when the average browsing consumer considers the self-published novel, quality is not her concern. By this I mean the question of whether she expects to find quality. We might (it’s been done) correlate types of publishing to shopping venues—take brick and […]

Familiar: Fifth Tattersby

  Familiar   All these ordinary things are giving way Times of late, like the dead wrapped in their winding sheets Familiar in outline still But disintegrating into melt and worm beneath He feels infected with the guest’s unhappy mood Uses the word, not having spoken with de Clieux He thinks the time is now […]

A Little Joy (poem)

  A Little Joy   The young gather near old Timeworn The age of him lies like a bundle Poor yellow tom The stink of an open toilet and the menace of a grinning man He knows they’re like that A little joy in the killing The back steps concrete crumbling This fault they’d ticked […]

Sans Serif (poem)

  Sans Serif   She’s crushed her fingertip under a trunk lid One purple nail the adornment of her hand No rings and nothing else Just this, playing across the jacketless blank “I’m hating this,” she tells him   She has a book with a hard grey cover Two gritted fangs forbid the eye Looked […]

All Safe Bets Off: Hammersmith (thirteen)

  All Safe Bets Off   “Doesn’t seem so long ago.” Mack, unable to do anything about Aimee’s arm hooked through Hogben’s, though it pleased him to see Hogben once or twice give a mild tug, ill-at-ease…had got next to Shaw behind them (he ignored Shaw), and was throwing out chatty comments, in a louder […]

The Insular I: a poem’s point of view

  The Insular I   People don’t like poetry. That, of course, is not universally true. True enough, though, that a lot of poetry you read (or glance over) launches like the voice of someone you’re stuck with in an elevator. I write poetry, and I too get that twisty feeling when I’m afraid of […]

Swallowtail: Third Tattersby

  Swallowtail   You’ve never sat, doing your work …if you had been me, on a stool upstairs Made dumb by the green walls of Lippard’s laboratory Looking down, as directed, through the lens at the wing he’d razored along the vein Some of the colors are not pigments, you know Only reflections of light […]

My Curious Reading: Character Logic

  Let’s begin by splitting a hair. E. M. Forster, in Aspects of the Novel (Harcourt, 1927), gives his seventh lecture on the theme of Prophecy. He introduces a metaphor: “song” to represent the voice of the prophet; “the furniture of common sense”, to represent verisimilitude. Towards the end of the this section, Forster says, […]