Refuse all intercourse with comb or brush
And stand, moon-blanched, shoulders hung
Against the hush of autumn lungs
That breathe their still, illegal tender
Like a tenor saxophone whose weather
Rains against your skin. Tonight you’d rather
Walk the syncopated streets than sleep,
The counterpoint of cats and window-peepers
Slaps you in the face—the clap
As clouds and stars collide. Deny the shrill
Policeman’s silver whistle. Feral,
Canine, vault the convent wall
To waltz a private rosary, bark
The deer-bark, drive incisors hard
Against the luminescent heart
Of prey. Know every vent-pipe, each blind
Half-closed, every shape a man makes, standing
Still or skewered to his fecund
Bitch, in heat, praising the stink
Of love in moans and high-pitched squeaks.
Stars rise, stars sink
Like stones cast into water
Or laughter drowned in tears.
Believe there’s little left that still adheres
The way that childhood stitches dreams to sleep.
And down beside the drainage ditch you sip
The run-off with your pallid lips
While owls bleat merry homage to your curt
Projecting ribs, the sheal of straw and turf
In which you weigh the gravity of mirth.
--Dr. John Jenkinson, 5/18/04
Winner of a Balticon Poetry Award,
To be announced at Balticon 38, The Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
Memorial Day Weekend May 28 - 31, 2004
Once again hosted by The Lite Circle, Inc., a Baltimore-based nonprofit literary organization, poetry programming explores the arena of verse from inspiration and writing to submitting for publication and an overview of small press publishing. There will be a poetry workshop and a poetry reading featuring winners of the Balticon 38 SF Poetry contest and an open reading...