[ToC]

 

2 POEMS

Joseph Spece

ASTRIDE THE SUNKEN MARE

These meetings for lunch

are contrivance.

A dance to dehisce.

The sprung interior

restates her burden,

takes umbrage at the extant breath

breathing solitarily—

the life since.

She'd be everything.

Instead she's among

the puppetries of drink and gesture,

dishes of braised lamb.

In a far room

the size of a hothouse niche,

I've kept the love

soft and full for you

as flowers or red melon

on the verge of spoil.

There you have the pattern

and cause of all this.


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SPIRIT FOUND FLOATING IN THE MERE 

I fell in an awful pit

Down past the slattern bricks

Where once I noticed a most deft

Caulk

In the rushing

By. Then a

Clench. And awake to

            What

If not some

Parliament of vipers—

Coil, carom of their

Attenuate necks, my body

Riddled in a rain

Of bites.

Then swimming

Heat, then

Off.

            There

After many essays

Into Hidden Wood

My great fear was allayed—

Winsome and done God

I never dreamed

Of loving abjection

So.

 

 


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These sister pieces owe a debt to the poet Stephanie Adams-Santos, and represent a period of loosened form, emotional exposure, and movement toward mystic, Dark Romantic thought. Re-reading them after DIAGRAM's kind notice, I find "Spirit Found Floating in the Mere" acts like a coda to the vulnerability and resignation of "Astride the Sunken Mare's" speaker—perhaps there was nowhere for him to go, so to speak, but down; and then, after the right venom, forward to the space he belongs.