Christine Larusso

in circles, in nonsquiturs, in sudden
bursts of bird energy, hummingbird spirit;

there are no bears in the forests of Berlin. There
are bugs living on the scientist's fruits, who do not
scour the black debris, the motionless
cinemastill trees.

The music comes from the forests of Berlin; all the music
you have ever heard. You brought me the sound of
a bell in your hand, carried on the plane, over sloping
hills, a precious stone

to be played on the stereo. This bell rings
in Berlin, you said, without a listening device.
Even the deaf can hear this bell. It is the music
of the trees.

You brought me a bear's tooth, an atavistic relic
with yellow stains and grease sewn into its
mass, and I asked about what you told me before,
that there are no bears

in Berlin. You said you caught the last one, his
muzzle held gently in your hands as he died

a weighty death, dirty and unknowing of his fate.







I've been writing sonnets with my right hand for over ten years now—the most recent books are largely collections of sonnets and narrative or elegiac sonnet sequences—while the left hand sneaks in prose poems, brief fictions, or narrative poems, mostly about recent wars and their victims. The sonnet is a game whose rules preoccupy the thinking mind—tinkering with phrase, line-break, rhyme, compression, the syllabic limits—while the real work goes on in a reverie that counts on surprises or rather unanticipated discoveries. These two sonnets come from a current impulse to reframe what and where heaven is, how it operates, while knowing I don't really want to create a fixed cosmology to replace the shabby older ones.