Story
The White Buzzards

1. My preferred method of transportation was trains. But America’s railway system was inferior. Platforming in cathedrals of glass panes and iron ribs, marble steps with lips worn to slip hazards, Europe’s trains pull in as from other worlds: sauropod bodies drifting into their own dioramas. Puffing, posing, petrifying. American train stations were built for the impatient. Beams, unfinished floors, unyielding benches—all were meant to reinforce the interiority of travel: …

Story
Postponement

1. Glen Campbell played Warren, Michigan. This was on his farewell tour—so called because the singer announced he had Alzheimer’s disease and was looking, no doubt, into a future when he could not remember lyrics, follow arrangements, or know for what purpose these tiered faces were arranged around him in a human horseshoe. There were secrets to be known. She learned them later than everyone else. “Galveston” was a secret. …

Poem
Homeless Genies

The helicopter levels with the second storey. Underlit by searchlight, rotors wheel within a wheel.   Beacons spray the corrugated metal window shade; In peephole-filtered demi-glow: chafed lamps and scattered safehouse bedding.   Homeless genies: hopelessly miraculous. Dispensing wishes As garrulously as voting rights. In hiding. Public-eyed.   Drifting bands of consequences: no one knows Their lineage, only their shadowy immanence: the crashed power grid.   Their parents’ world was …

Essay
Dub Aristotle

1. “The possibilities of group intelligence,” writes James Surowiecki in The Wisdom of Crowds, “at least when it came to judging questions of fact, were demonstrated by a host of experiments conducted by American sociologists and psychologists  between 1920 and the mid-1950s….”  He goes on to cite academic and military trials, in which teams, more accurately than individuals, estimated room temperature, the weight of objects, and, most famously, the number …

Poem
A country that acquired TV in 1999

The Natural History Society, funding diminished, Relocated its archives from the limestone library In the capital, to a series of cabins on stilts Just offshore of the city. Former fishermen’s barracks,   Their built-in bunks are beds of treasures Somehow become negligible.  Butterscotch bronze With turquoise corrosion is this specimen’s skin; Its gear teeth—lash-fine—are torqued.   Like arpeggio notes once they climbed over Each other—ascending, terrestrial—in a sequence For a …

Poem
Cockpit Voice Recorder

France’s accident investigation agency has abandoned a search for the ‘black boxes’ from the Air France passenger jet that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean.—BBC, 20 August 2009     1. The sea hadn’t risen, but dropped, Swirling up through the suction tube Deposited—one day, unexpectedly—by the sun Like a giant, blazing mosquito.   Water dripped from overhangs, Braided through troughs, draining Away from mountain ranges, and left Seaweed bladders, clustered, like …

Poem
The Blind Surgeon

1. A lottery determines selection As one of his patients. The ill Register at a website and log in To track their application status, Imagining the sealed envelope icon And the first line of the message Previewing its contents: “We are pleased To inform you….” Meanwhile, they find Videos, download podcasts: the blind Surgeon led into the operating Theater, handling scalpels and forceps Without the halting gestures Of the sightless, …

Poem
“I will create for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird….” The House of Imran, 40.

This one’s soul stayed with his photo. Lapis sparrows on silver hoops Swing from hooks in her lobes. She stoops to load printer paper. He is standing behind her Blowing at them. He is trapped, Not in the picture, but in its vicinity. It is the last record of his physicality; His change persists. A kind of purgatory. A house arrest. To be to time braceleted.   “I’ve just been …

Poem
George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”

A shotgun’s double impact’s A breeze that catches them By the shoulder: a quarter turn, A footstep’s setback, And then they advance again.   Stiff-jointed, raccoon-eyed, In nightgowns and pinstripe suits— A six-year-old in soccer cleats— The attire in which they undied, They march, arms forward, wrists loose.   Temporary birthmarks, black Soil particles on eyelids, lips— You almost want to wipe them off— Still moist from the grave’s deliverance, …

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