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.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stephen Paul Miller

The Kisses

He doesn’t like small talk
but what is life but small talk
and out of small talk
great things come.


He was a boy despair hid from.
He wasted himself on a zero amount of food.
This will sigh of freedom on the soup.
I don't appreciate, you, for example.

But these commodities, they are suitable
as the velvet streaks out of hand
you clearly are made from images and not believing them.
In them was a clear parcel—

the usual complex business without attitude
and candy bars I didn’t care if you ate.
I was comparing them to Ed who killed himself.
He had a lot of Irish prepared.

The horn honks my name.
A diet in time is a cook forever.
Is it serious backing into
or just a mainstream conservative

that tramples the discourse on the river bank to bank to bank?
He is fuller than open in the night.
The light dial spins.
No reason to be jealous.

This was a day you might remember for the weather.
In Vermont they just let it rain.
In Germany during the winter they count sheep.
Elephants inhabit this Germany.
Elephants personify cartoon bubbles.
He got sick of having nothing to eat
and that was when he got this sonnet to do
and sliced it.

With humble heart and glad face
tell me what Baba says about suicide.
For certainly I have naught to do in this matter.
Destroying myself is a detachable subject
that night when a person is leaving.

Something stayed around for a while which was the text.
I am driven by passionate insight into the brevity of
  all human things.
One, a professional musician, overshadows
  everything upon waking.
I take Algebra and drop—society-at-large
  fixes me.
I get self-conscious with all my good and bad
My hopes are far away and that's fantastic.

            Experiments are not to hide behind.  I might be hiding
                        something good that’s fantastic.
Slow steps gradually move me back.
The floor of the subway car is wood. The whole town
          goes to speed-listening class.
One cardboard ramification does not go up swinging
            but determined and digging.

An experiment is an accomplishment—since there is no       
            progress it has to be.
Now what about an idea as an experiment? The book bounced
            up to the ceiling.

Articulation is an experiment in a world of values. Casper
            cares only what people think.
Life is the true experiment, the ghost looks up at me like
            a kitchen sink…
            a bed of earrings, a glove.
Not being a professional musician it’s just so pretty to me.

The Day the Mets Stood Still

You've heard about the broken book....
It's mostly feeling. 
“Feeling,” says Pete,
“is the eye of the needle
through which any given
sense might pierce
through what momentarily
finds itself on the river surface
bringing it over the top, a little bit
bothered by the noise the capacity filled
river mails in. That Dick Van Dyke workplace
format replaces any up-close and personal
                                         under-the-bottom stuff.

Other people are no longer this slightly
amorphic myth. You play
one more game than us but
we start out together

before passing through each other’s
horizon with enough money to trigger each other’s analysis.
Our beauty is the death of convention in its Marriott.
You needn't spend another night on that old mattress. 


Stripping is a home run of so-called nature. For Emerson, nature’s
staticy feedback of grounded moral sentiments we initially ascribe to. 
Nature, in other words, reverses our images to shake their memoirs loose.
We might be due cash compensation and nothing after all, except for the tie,
is really broken. It goes without saying, too,
that I am a non-hierarchical trace hardly saying this. Who would?


The can hits the floor,
a joke, not to be taken seriously.
I watch an explosion from a ferry but can't
see a thing in the West River that night
except for the low level pyrotechnics and innovative refractions,
   which are really enough. 


There are a lot of things outside of baseball that go into your eyes—
my resiliency in you is almost like a playoff
but in a good way and wireless. How is your
signal? Is it still funny? Okay, I’m listening now….


The game was on the line in those days.
They were difficult decisions that Abe
Beame, that fucking hippy, had to make.
If it wasn't one problem it was a million of them.
The whole idea was that there was this firmament
from which every discrete thing escapes
with a string and cherry on it, as in fact it all has
seeped, taking the firmament along with it and meeting up again
in each other’s clothes near Andy’s place in Pittsburgh.

    It goes without saying too that if, because of this,
we don't have our hands on the means of production, we need to conjure
somewhere we do. And thank God for the Sparta-Athens-Persia reverse
spin cycle. Is happiness surrender to happiness or other way around? 
Well, of course the two go hand in hand but
more to the point, what am I to you and who are we to happiness
and our bed to the pathos standing on it? Only the sun and the moon,
....Everything comes out a nervous laugh...
the space between us the funniest money I've ever seen.

We’re in a snag but okay,
I didn't do anything wrong.
  Any thing that seems
wrong is on the roof
where you still can change it
before the fact. “Fine, how far should
I follow the tracings on this one?”  You're such
a total genius it really doesn't matter. 
You play almost any song any time.
We're happy just to listen—your music
an example to live by.

FDR’s FDR, Jefferson, and the Bigger
Than Watergate Operations Against Them

Similar operations go the route
when we need money we put
            ourselves through the change
into a lifetime of stream-
            lined living.

They had only one machine
            to take care of themselves,
in the house across the street
similar operations go the route

into a lifetime of stream-
            lined living
I was one of your
            regular customers
You knew me by my

the strangest sense of
            which came afterwards
as a copy of a copy
into a lifetime of stream-
            lined living

He stuck his foot out
As a big job was done
            for his customer
similar operations go
            the route.

Paying to play the part of a minimal
             copy job for a master charge
unstamped, unwept
similar operations go the route
into a lifetime of stream-
            lined living.


Moses enjoys
Peggy Cyphers’
animal acrylics,
getting so lost in them
he sees all he’s not
stir Peggy’s garden
and shade Monument Valley
with several balancing foci. 
A void fades out of Peg’s brush.
My name hides from me
on a hike with several
Hudson River paintings tagging along.
Father knows best all over them
on a ledge near the public library reading room.

The innings in Cyphers’ painting
make a circle and fire.
A first pitch says
you’re alive.

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