Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Days of War, Nights of Love

They could be the same, if by war we mean

confronting those powers, and by love

we mean embracing them. Those powers.

Some found aloft, some in the depths.

They could be the same, and may well be

nowhere at all. So this may be another

imaginary elegy, and it is time to change

direction. Not so easy as it may

appear. Not so easy as things begin to

disappear. Once he asked how I stopped.

I didn’t know the famous story, but surely

he did. You take the horn out of your mouth.

But in case of emergency, you take

the horn with you, leave everything else

behind. But he had stopped listening,

was into something else. As was I.

So. So easy. Not. In the wood. Lost

and found again. After a long night,

alone and scared. It’s these trans-

formations, long slides down the

throat. Longingly, we have come

by night and day. As a kid, I thought

it was a pillow of cloud, a pillow

of fire. As a kid, I thought I would

grow up to sacrificed.


Little does he know.


Now it is time to speak with the master

seated in his little boat, on his throne of

skulls, in his chariot of rhyme. This with

harmonium. This with mellotron. This

with brass choir. Christmas angels, but

this is not Christmas. Christmas is

over. No solos, but this is a solo, for such

is the nature of the beast, making his

cold, his windswept sounds. Now it is

time to bring those sounds into every

home, every house on the block. There

among the big wheels, the pierced dolls,

yard sales, yard signs, signs seen,

marks seen in each street. Now

the wanderer speaks, London is

calling again but from elsewhere, from

otherwhere, and here, and here, and

here. Too much light, say some of the

ghosts. Not enough, say others. Too

many voices, too much information, the

system is overloading, but it’s about

damn time. Time damns me, dollars

damn me, there are ships sinking in the

harbor and the harbormaster, addressed again,

is nowhere to be found. Is he below the line,

has he crossed the line, are there revels,

streamers, exotic drinks, moonlight

on tropical seas? No we are

past that, we will not meet him face

to face. Perhaps it is time to rest,

perhaps it is time to go below.


All hands on deck. This is an

example of synecdoche.

Tag, You’re It

for Peter O’Leary

Work backwards. The things above

are as the things below, and the things

below are as those above. What matter?

Books were made for secrets they cannot

keep: this is what it means to be

read. Such spaces, such expectations.

I used to think in numbers, adding

and subtracting. Now I think of zeroes

multiplied by threes. Like this, and

then you figure the tip. How was

the service? Good, but the bread

kept turning into meat. I don’t

think I’ll eat here again. I don’t

pretend to know much about it, but this

I know: you have to stop preparing us

for these appearances. It’s better

to run with it, the way he did after

the disaster, without a song. The tenor

sax haunts me, but then, so does the

accordion. Fold after fold, as he said.

He? That was you, meaning me.

Music isn’t in the air, it is the air,

at least on good days. Is this a good day?

I don’t know, it’s awfully cloudy.

Awfully—meaning full of awe.


Is it the King?

No, just another ghost of answering questions.

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