Issue 16 · 2012




from Sounds of Summer in the Country


by Michael Ruby





Sounds of a Summer Morning in the Country



If a hangover and a purple doily


If charity begins in the home

(And long-lasting


Sing at appropriate times)


Through the entire sense


The fire in the dawn telemarks

The happenstance burns on the trash heap

With purple masquerades

And ice-cream distribution


You will find, inside, to your—

You will find, inside

The onion and the oven

Hell warmed over


They say the ice cream, the eleven

They say you provoked the backlash

They say a moving target equals a crossover


The point of the exercise

They’re taken care of

Inside the sorry . . . lagoon

The silly


They took care of the enormous implication

They took care of the holiday sauce

The perfect sign they took care of


They took care of the honest-to-goodness goodness

They took care of halting cropdusters

The first throat inside the tie plays the horses

Listing and timing the rice and stings

There’s an authority perfected for ample reasons


They took care of they took care of they took care of

Afterward they took care of chatterbox

Rattlebox, sing luck, teleport

The point, believe me, chatterbox


At first, chattering came to life

Chattering passed through the improbable monosyllable

Improbable, poignant, thorough

(This ice regulates bumpkins and signs off)


Before anything else, before anything else

(Sign off from the rice and polished onion)

But first, but first, take these leaves

Take these leaves, unimaginatively, and take

And take, and take, this

And take, the, and take


They won’t, invisibly, embellish

They won’t, asking a small favor, retreat

No, they won’t, readying

Through the world. . . . 


Through the world, intimate (Pellegrino

Boys room, ice cream, pollywogs

Andy polished seminary

Took rueful symmetry)


Through the world, beaucoup disgruntled and tangent

To reasonable Easter egg passages

The first thought, in the trees, the pining

(Leggings, token raspberries)


You’re going to see, in the aftermath, a timely peace

You will see, I promise, pretty please










Michael Ruby is the author of several books of poetry, including the trilogy Memories, Dreams and Inner Voices just published by Station Hill Press.  His next book, American Songbook, is being published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2013.  He lives in Brooklyn and works as a newspaper editor.