Barrow Street

fall winter 2012 074Lazy days. School doesn’t begin for another week and we’re in serious vacation mode here. Seeing friends, eating the cookies left over from Christmas. Playing Life. Finally making the Gingerbread House that no one could find time for earler.

The new copy of Barrow Street arrived in my mail just the other day. It includes my poem, “Vows,” and a host of other poems that play with language, like this one by Bertha Rogers:

ON THE ROAD

This owl raptured after this muskrat,
seized, ripped off, this bony November day,
the water rat’s greasy head.

And did the rat grasp what great angel
had taken his body up
eyes riding past hooked blue beak,
beneath roof arched like a church’s,
and down mortality’s red craw?

A car, wheeling south, completed the act,
ravished the owl right out of light.

Better than sex, this aborted hunt,
more satisfying than owning the wish, granted love
the diurnal abuses wrecked upon each other.
Better than mercy better, balancing all,
this blinding end, glinting, quick death.

I suppose what I love here is the “roof arched like a church’s,” the “red craw” and that luminous last line. Another poem, “Pigs” by Brian Barker, has an opening image I love enough to steal: “jigsaw puzzles for the damned.” Like the jigsaw puzzle on our table, which is not for the damned (I hope) but only for those on holiday break.

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