September 28, 2012

Good Haunting

"I'm glad
it was ghosts,"
she said.

"They're a lot
less dangerous
than people."

— Albert E. Cowdrey, "Asylum" (from Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine, May/June 2012)

September 27, 2012

September 21, 2012


The sun
was like

a furious

in the sky.

— Flannery O'Connor, "You Can't Be Any Poorer Than Dead"

September 8, 2012

On Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris,
who is described
as a "lone wolf,"

though to me
he always
seems more of
a lone marmoset.

— Anthony Lane in his review of "The Expendables 2," in The New Yorker, Sept. 3, 2012
(with my apologies to Mr. Norris) 

September 7, 2012

Mobile Punctuation

"Mobile Punctuation"
by Ronnie Sirmans
(From South Carolina Review, Fall 2011)

Reading a printed poem, what I thought 
was an orphaned closing parenthesis
amid a stanza detailing a quotidian epiphany
was simply my eyelash that had fallen just so,
so that it could masquerade as a dark mark.
I brushed away the mobile punctuation,
and so my reading had already paused
even though a comma wasn’t there either
in the now empty space between words.

September 6, 2012

Lot and Daedalus

"Lot and Daedalus" 

by Ronnie Sirmans
(From Gargoyle issue 56)

His daughter heard the noise first,

certain of a knocking at the door.
Lot went to see.  Though his eyes
amazed him at first, he had no doubt.
Lot invited them in, the two with wings.

The winged man and young boy did not understand

the language of the man opening the door.
Daedalus considered these people odd,
this city was not his home.  Where had
the divine winds carried him and his son?
The strange man motioned for them to enter.
Human interaction did not require words.

”I am Daedalus,” he said

nonetheless. “This is Icarus,” 
nodding toward his child still with wings.
Lot and his family did not understand,
but Lot knew angels spoke with the tongues
of Heaven.  The white linen worn by the man
and boy revealed more flesh
than the folds and folds
of modesty draped upon Lot
and his wife and two daughters.

Daedalus asked if they might

rest for a moment, and he discerned
he was not understood.  Nor did he
understand the woman’s whisper,
but Daedalus understood the caring
warmth of the smile from Lot’s wife
when she spoke in soft passion, “Angels.”

Daedalus could not make her understand

that they had fallen from the sky,
caught in a maelstrom in darkness,
with man-made wings now seared to skin.
He did not know how to tell her
that dreams and time were intertwined.
Daedalus wondered why he found
himself in this strange land.
Divine aphasia?  Young Icarus said
nothing but followed Lot’s daughters
as they took him aside and stroked
his small wings, the feathers
black and white, sturdy but fragile.

Both families went to sleep, not knowing

that the gods did not abide love,
that one would lose his son,
that one would lose his wife,
and that their love stolen by the gods
(gods had the right to take everything)
would become stories told and retold.

September 2, 2012


No fish
were killed
in the writing
of these poems.

— Title of Beverly Bie Brahic's book review in Poetry, September 2012