V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




                     For Hart Crane

     Spiked, overturned; such thunder in their strain!
     And clenched beaks coughing for the surge again!

Rows of razor teeth diamond the dark,
a crazed eye wheeling into the glare

of head lamps.  Bald tail dragging the road,
back bristled silver, beakish head
sweeping the night—this mystic glitch
in time's unspooling, how he hungers
for what cuts swaths through the dark, what swerves
before he knows the truth between split beams,
the source that drives what he hazards each night
until the blood blooms hot in his nostrils—
like Hart Crane's hung terrapins plucked
from the surge, our doomed seer pitched
into a roadside ditch, stunned and humped
gasping for the humming lights that struck him.

© by James Rioux


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