Issue 12 · 2009



Two Poems


  by Virginia Konchan





Untoward Benediction



Some people are born with

disadvantages, like leprosy.


I say:  lace up those boot straps.

Go down swinging!  The first


are first, until they’re not.  Advice

for those recovering from moral


relativity:  develop opinions, cultivate

taste.  Rhetorical composition is nice,


but it’s nothing next to Tyger, Tyger. 

Preferential treatment is only sane: 


does not salmon kick the ass of pork? 

The sublime will be raised, not as


an idea, but a reality, with fangs.

Only an edible god is real. 








Punctus Contra Punctum



The butcher’s wife’s death was messy. 

People moaned.  It was a wait stop death,

a now I love you death, yet was deliberate,


slow, in the collapsed space between what

one imagines might happen (a reprieve) and

what is actually happening (a bludgeoning). 


Wordsworth was right:  dissection is for fools,

and painting by numbers will always be a lesser

art.  Did you nail the kiss of death, the ghost of


Rachmaninoff asked the butcher, in his dreams.  The

resounding chord, was it ivory or white?  Monsignor,

he replied, before the desire for meaning gave birth


to music, and the desire for death to refinement of mind,

it was not difficult, but merely impossible, to hold

a note that trembled in the highest key of C. 










Poetry, fiction and reviews by Virginia Konchan have appeared in The New Republic, American Poetry Journal, Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, Jacket, Phoebe, 3 A.M. Magazine and The Wallace Stevens Journal. 


E · Poetry Journal