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Excerpt Poems

deerhunter

I am amazed at how
little I know of people
you for instance
cutting this cherry cake
with a hunting knife

the force of the cut
and I thought of you
so gentle a man
could not imagine you
thrusting the blade
deep for the killing stroke

but now I see
you are capable of anything
gentleness is only
a cloak to keep you
warm in the cold
hunters' night

-Elizabeth Allen


Lane at Fifty-Four

remains the hound-dog raconteur, each tomcat
anecdote leisurely treed, left to its devices.
Almost merciful, this lope...

tho' he holds forth over the bouillabaisse on PMS
till we tell him he's been giving
the wrong workshop all these years.

Lane can't find his shoes when it's time
to go but knows he wants a big one for the road
in a glass he won't have to give back

then leaves his bag behind.
Identified by the passport within.
Where's he going? From years ago

in a letter: it's all fantasy.
Not the old nose for anguish, implicit
sympathy, the bearhug hunger for unguarded
meaty talk: poetry.

That generous, unforgiving art.
At fifty-four, his less-rough readiness.

-John Pass