Four Poems


Jon Cone








The day could be made from elemental gray,

a day near the sea –

for the sea is complete,


complete within the muffled

diffuse –

of gray sky. We hold each other.


There is nothing

in the world we need,

so like a children’s globe are we, protected,



and when the world shakes

it becomes not less but


envelops us as we are more

than rapt,

permanent in matter


our completeness bestows,

cribbed by motions taken

from the sea-gray sea.





The Invention of the Idea of Chair


after Marin Sorescu



The fire came first.

Next the standing around

the fire as I stared glass-eyed

at its curling paper heart.


The darkness seemed a verge

set to smother

the community

I made there with you.


When we began telling

stories standing

became more like lower

back pain.


You said, ‘It’s this or sleeping

in the cave.

What an existence.’



A bone,

the craw.

The necessary irritation,

then the thunderbolt.


A chair! A chair!

Then the white-

knuckled nothing that

follows after storm clouds go.





Sleds Made of Bone



There are iron

moments – how

human it is

to speak –


when one says

to another

I don’t know

& I don’t care.


Birds. A nearby

fountain. Two

homeless kings

at dusk.





Jeramiah and Fugitive Bell



Take inventory,

heretical Jeremiah.

Of the new potion

rich in radium.

Take inventory,

fugitive Bell.

For the squalid birds

at noon.

Pay heed with

an undistinguished ear

at their toothless horns of fear.

Elected Jeremiah!

Tenured Bell!

It is a day on which

to count:

the voluptuous bric,

the glutinous brac.

And you did and you sang

and you ran,

till the sun

in its blank number

came loud

to the high-counting lands.







Jon Cone’s works include LEAST (Greying Ghost), THE PLESYRE BARGE (Greying Ghost), SITTING GETTING UP SITTING AGAIN (Standing Guard in a Cornfield Press), and FAMILY PORTRAIT WITH TWO DOGS BLEEDING (Phrygian Press).  He has appeared in several anthologies and numerous journals both online and in print.  His collection, COLD HOUSE, is forthcoming in the fall of 2017 from Espresso-Chapbooks of Toronto, (Ont.), Canada.  He lives in Iowa City.  He can be followed on Twitter @JonCone