Two Poems


Mark DuCharme








Nothing there is that doesn’t quiver

We now must think as birds

In permanent rainy weather

Which the idioms of speech will not convey


Birds think in fidgets, quick as weather

Birds splice tongues of rotten fruit

To trees’ flesh to be etched against

Blank skies’ wideness, ’til wicked tongues are formed


Speech is another matter.  It

Is song failed by parts of grief

By the unflinching, filthy stares of huntsmen

Lacking summers to believe


If I believed, or am not whole

In a dead man’s overcoat—will June release

Me in traffic of dark days

Deader than spiders underfoot


Yet if I live, will I dream like birds

& Take up their wicked cries

Impermanent as the sand that scuffs my boots—

As feral night-idioms where poems take root








Winter doesn’t dream itself

It moves variably in cold bright light

Among harbors which dither

With rogues in gold weather

Amid whose songs we grew yet weren’t afraid


Or if we were, it was of weather

It collects guises in its dream of rogue gardens

It reads the Norton Anthology like a script

That cannot be dignified with breath

It reaches for frost when it weeps


& When it does, I have to sniff

Out the radiance from a tuba or brouhaha

To indulge the flowers of a world that has not borne me

To any height from which I soon might fall

When the weather fears itself.  Not now


There is a statue of the rain that changes face & drops

I clip it for the vigor of its bronze disappointment

I groom it for bragging altitude

If I am there at all, I am sometimes near it

Waiting to brush against a red fire engine


Or crook my arm against a lost saint’s thigh

That I never do encounter

Don’t mire yourself in the weight of dead sparrows

Spin the moon when you’re not near it

Until all the weeping alums grow up & bloat


A shattered portion of the night to not take seed









Mark DuCharme is the author of We, the Monstrous: Script for an Unrealizable Film, Counter Fluencies 1-20, The Unfinished: Books I-VI, Answer and other works.  His poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies.  He lives in Boulder, Colorado.



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