V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




Serpentine, the spinal cord from mountains in the north
on an unrolled scroll curled at the corners,
crags drawn like a blade across the throat, headwaters
decapitated by the top of the map. In the lower left
a polder, portals walled from the world—
afraid of fabricated borderlines, elders chart
bloodstreams along the dots in order,
farmers versus berserkers with reptilian
scale armor. Compass points tattooed on skin outgrown
nightly at the tavern as travelers warn
of wyrm caverns and ruins in the parchment desert.
The lone road in the entire empire slithers its lies
underfoot, its grid of brick twisted through treemen,
rooted and grumbling, who walked as children,
through keyholes without tower doors,
through legends without wings. Only room for one
quarter of a continent in this cartography—urchin, unearth
each territory on the periphery to sketch unnamed
distant geography and flames outside the frame.


© by Steven D. Schroeder


Contributor's note
Next page
Table of contents
VPR home page

[Best read with browser font preferences set at 12 pt. Times New Roman]