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Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




          post  west Texas
The clang of the cable against the pole in the wind.
The odd, random rhythm that etches the mind like grit
Scoring glass.  Blue spaces emptying out
To wind everywhere you looked, with no end.
Sometimes the anguish is love: Sappho's hurt heart
And Catullus' breaking cry.  Petrarch's long sigh.
Other wounds opened relentlessly for years
Show the self itself hell enough for art.
In the land of wind and space mountains slowly rise,
Plod toward you like dim-witted beasts too large
To fit their skins.  A sky so pale it's almost white.
Summer heat coils, hisses at the eyes.
There was murder everywhere.  Tightly wound
I took a gun and shot what I could find running
Or flying, and left it where it died, hump of fur
Or feathers in the dirt.   And covered a lot of ground.
I wish that I could say what was in my mind. 
At eighteen I read Nietzsche while sitting in a park,
At twenty-one smoked sixty cigarettes a day
And never looked around for anything left behind. 
The empty clang of a cable in the wind sings
Emptiness and the spill of day into dark.
Along the highway fences lean their hard lines 
On the air.  Barbed wire hums like wings.

© by Michael Dobberstein


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