Spring 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 1


Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Essays    Reviews   

Hugh Anderson



junkie whore.
Staccato, like heels
in streetlight pools, like
voices from dark cars.
The word leaps at her from doorways,
a clanging camisado.
Her only defense, memory,
no panacea, but still, if she is patient,
if she outlasts the shaking, endures
the itching long enough
to boil the powder down, tense
the rubber tube around her arm,
the first moment, the first wave
of softness will come like the speech of a child,
will carry her gently in a smoke of lullaby,
ascend the dawning darkness, dream
her innocence again


The Fallen

Dumb Man,  beggar
blind in the crowded street of angels
mouthing mea culpa, mea culpa.
The sin of the fathers, after all, is visited
on the children; the wrath of god flowers
from ancient seed.  Caul, blight, twisted
limbs, the mark of Cain, the early shroud, all,
all cry pity, Seraph, pity, cherubim.
{Wind the flame, twist the smoke,
incense hangs in Limbo,  heaven’s
quicksand. Candles  sputter.}

Beggar blind and hungry
in the midst of glory.   No more than
dust, a poor wax copy, withered Man
thrusts out his palm.  Mercy drips
not as a gentle rain, just enough
to pit the ashes of fallen flame.



Like so much steak to order up
she is her own menu—blowing on her fingers
to fight the reddening wind. This
is not the weather for short shorts and halters.
Ice-skaters have second skins to warm them,
but the buyers here want real flesh. The best
she can hope for, other than the cold steam
billowing from the cars slowing and gliding
past, is to catch a little of what burns
behind the rolling windows.
She stamps her feet; such shoes are not
the best for slush like this, but promise
something for the hunger
driving the dance that circles her.
This corner, her red legs, this desire for
only the fleeting warmth of a cheap room,
a moment of warm flesh.


© Hugh Anderson


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Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Essays    Reviews   

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