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Three Poems

By
July 20, 2006

 

Dove Intensive

A name or idea settles on me
while this dove flies an eight
over the wainscoting, while wind
overcomes it, flap by flap,
until the blue of its lungs
and this room both sigh it.

Even doves get frantic in spring,
sore-throated single-minded machines
looking for a gear. Under the bird-swell,
fresh light alarms the buds and in a day
leaves look ornamental
and dirt, so simple, cracks as if beat.

Think of crumbs vs. getting away.
Dear soul, con-soul me, re-soul me,
give me your coun-soul—the lyrics.
The V.P. bags the president instead of
an employee, or even bird flu.
Grey is the new blue, dove.

Bad Neighbor

All the ivy ever cannot
cover what you see
in peekaboo. The great fly-by-
nights, Satan and his fold,

hoot in great swoops
announcing what you glimpse
as more of a problem than
a few ex-mammals cruising
tonight’s skies.

Like an electric alarm
out of you a chirp dits its way into
Hello. Science says nothing’s lost,
then it hedges.
The hedges, as square
as the capital letters important
books begin with, screen

the neighbor but not
his feet–could shoes do,
the part for whole, each
for Each?

     You’d rather see
more clouds or dawn,
a length of snake
as hose, not Other.
An otter in the gutter.

Not one bad neighbor.

Hamlet in Hirsute

“The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect ‘domestic security.’” –ACLU

Who goes there? Hamlet
in hirsute, nude as a pickle,
dragging the skull as toy.

His chest hair waves
To be or not? or Tis nobler–
Whatever. Check the curtain.

Spy vs. spy vs. spy—
it’s community, just healthy
curiosity. Ophelia doesn’t sleep,

she circles her bowl,
eyes alert to all sides,
I’s everywhere.

When nine of the elect
stand on chairs, we ask:
How high are those chairs?

They grow so old whispering
their lips whisker,
their tongues shake.

If they didn’t have ears—
but no one says that.
We wash wash wash their hands.

 

Terese Svoboda was our fiction guest editor in May 2006. Her fourth novel, _Tin God,_ was published this spring by the University of Nebraska Press, and she has poems forthcoming in _Yale Review, Blackbird, American Poetry Review, Bark, Drunken Boat_ and _Conduit._

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