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Swell of You

ISSUE:  Spring 2007

You are about to read scads of poems, many dealing with stardom,
a few with dead birds (not to mention the scoffers who off them),
and one with a horrifying vision of the apocalypse. But before you begin,
I want you to know, at this moment, while you gaze like a Capuchin

on these sad skeletons clothed in patience, already I plot
against the Dantean lot you resign me to. Perhaps you thought
after Rome was clothed in the white robes of cathedrals
it was all I could do to refrain from writing refrains lulled

into extravagant parcels like pairs of schnauzers on a yacht.
If so, the swift craft of my first poem, “Stardom”—its central image not
unlike a bird in hand—will have you bobbing up and down: you iamb
laden with purpose. Or is it a lead purse? Still, blind and homesick as I am,

I only mention birds for their acute pestilence, their flutes that tear asunder
visigothically your hopes to fill some funeral boat with my slightest plunder.
Isn’t that the reason for aviaries and avarice: places to place our feathers?
And yea, though Earth shall wash its face of such vagrant pleasures,

I dedicate these poems to you, o you who read for extra credit.
Like fish in the great wash of Noah, be reeled in. Reveal. Bet it
all ends well for us. Be the bird in my hand. Before the mushroom cloud,
be divine. Be a nice apocalypse and—like hands—clap loud.


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