ISSN 2692-3912

Poems by Cyrus Console

 

MOTETS

 

Why should it bother me

To hear them nearly

Match their singing

 

To the pitch of screws

The traveling choir

Whose joie may never

 

Come this way again

Though I leapt in the streets

Then

*

At their faces’ mercy

They stare in belief

The children in transports

 

With you Paula I

Still have these moments

My voice slipping

 

They say there is a life

Vest under the seat

That we are now free

*

Perfume in testers

In the sense of canopies

In shops with no duty

 

In the space between spaces

In musics like odor

One wanders through

 

In the bottle the London

Water is still cold

Though this is Bucharest

*

The modes I prefer

Give onto landscapes

Passing smoothly at great

 

Faintly perceptible speed

Fields of blue wheat

Stand there vanishing

 

Image of white wind

Turbines on the slope

Silent because it moves

*

Over the crowded roofs

Calls the hooded crow

The cock’s crowing fills

 

Cool arcades with grape

I think many men must

Have broken in this station

 

Where I heard them process

A murderer last night

His unmistakable cries

*

Notes held by Germany

When I was single

“Country lane” had no referent

 

The second rose functioned

As metonym for the exit

Wound made by a lance

 

Raw-boned youth wringing

The tail of a balking cow

Hand over fist

*

A return to the endless

Line snaking my castle

Channels trod in white stone

 

Wind fetched 100 leagues

Through a breach in the wall

Over forest one had not given

 

To ransom a daughter

Or anyone else

For that matter

*

Tunnels and other voids

In which fear was

First reliably contained

 

Thistle and caltrop above

Blankets and night soil within

Six feet of concrete

 

Shot through with bar stock

Two beach views concentrated

Marvelously by iron sights

*

Mesh and coil remains

Of a stochastic trap for minnows

Based on the funnel

 

Strands formed of shells

Whole strata of skeletons

Plastic and sea glass

 

As fractions of land mass

Fuel compressed from plankton

Epoch compressed from fuel

*

At noon to cross the bright

Waste separating resorts one

Mile from an aerobic threshold

 

Drives conflicted as finely

Powdered sugar in the windpipe

Nudists peering down

 

From caves in the soft cliff

Ruined shoes washing ashore

Like this

 

 

THE MONARCH OF THE GLEN

 

The station approaching the second

Class passengers rise and breathe

Smoke and spirit hard enough

To take me back into that version

Of myself who died of those things

And was cured in the rafters

Two handfuls of orange maize

And a knife in the throat

Was my name day that year

You see this is the continent

Sometimes called the old world

 

Loc de joaca reads the gate of the

Play area I take it

Reserved for those wearing

A bracelet the combination

Restaurant hotel resort issues

Overnight guests and yet

Here we are climbing

Gangways or catwalks planked

Haphazardly around old growth

Exculpatory signage fluttering

Autumn in an ill place

 

Everything welcoming or funny

About these mascots bad technique

Has transformed into menace

A dry voice chants from holes

In the face of a fiberglass tree

At the end of a high road

Squirted from a tube

Some great hoof has churned

The limp grass into printed clay

Filling with slips of rain

Put out your hand

 

I put out the hand

That scarcely closes

Around the deep piled velvet

At the great hart’s antler base

Thick hot veins run up

The back of it like seams

Even seen far off there is

No mistaking a dead thing

And there can be less question

Of a live one even a monster

Conditioned to approach the rail

 

 

THE WIRE

 

Though your talking points

Like a mountain stream

 

Ran clear and unchanging

It was two decades

 

I did not study

No I laid down

 

My head and slept

In a dark carrel

*

Certain verses are lost

Because the phone understood

 

Them as search terms

You taught me once

 

We delete everything it’s

Still there only deeper

 

Legible in the particular

As against the oracular

*

There is no wonder

But the fresh green

 

Revealed where clear urine

Splashes the greater plantain

 

Clean of gravel dust

And no name for

 

The black funnel thrust

Into the awed dream

*

Forests their virginity gone

Approach the castle thanks

 

All the lunar energy

Fallen on striped land

 

100% of the energy

Produced here is wasted

 

I take my song

Chopped and screwed thanks

*

Still the voice catches

When stray balloons appear

 

Crossing the various sky

What red cursive legal

 

Tender smell of cocaine

Silence on tape sudden

 

Wham of body mics

Unclipped and set down

*

We stood and watched

Hot wind blown loud

 

Though a jagged slot

This is the best

 

Lavatory in the world

You said to me

 

Later you said Dad

Can I whisper something

*

Everything in the Communist

Era trains continued working

 

Long after it broke

Where the steel bowl

 

Narrowed to a mouth

Sped the blurred earth

 

It makes me happy

When I stream music

*

These are generous comments

But I won’t continue

 

Because I am alive

My children between them

 

Thirteen man-years of joy

All the best songs

 

Written already in committee

Ok Google take note

*

Is this the air

You were calling for

 

For four fall days

Native trees looking like

 

Embers on a pike

Someone shouts look away

 

Brights on on Meyer

Freeze icons in prayer

*

When we party now

We release the funds

 

And watch them fall

Like sunbeams through Nyquil

 

A dead Western people

Who numbered in octal

 

The flowers of Mendocino

Someone shouts look alive

 

 

THE LIBRARY

 

“Look at your hands” was one

Critical teaching the book I had

From the school library offered

As soon as you know what it is

Look at your hands in the dream

 

In order to open something

Theoretically like a door to willing

Progress through wherever we are

Sent by night to wander among

Known persons and composites

 

“Progress” fails to capture it

The promise was total choice

Peripheral highway modulating

Into pine needles and orchids

Among the objectives of dream

 

Once or twice in the immediate

Sequel to that reading I believe

I came to myself and looked

Down to see my hands

In what was still childhood

 

Since my priority was to fly

Though I found I couldn’t rise

More than a few feet or travel

Swiftly or with precision

There is a lesson here

 

No margin can contain

Next I noticed certain light

Radiating through the glass

And it was tomorrow

The day I read no further

 

Often without waking I enter

Into something like suspicion

This must be it there is

Something I have to do

Else why am I floating

 

While I look my eyes come

Open and the room returns

To mind like a technicality

I breathe and there is only

This feeling of having known

 

 

Cyrus Console  is an American poet, essayist, and memoirist from Topeka, Kansas. Console studied biology as an undergraduate at the University of Kansas. He also earned an MFA in writing from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Kansas. His first book of poetry, Brief Under Water, was published in 2008, and his second book of poetry, The Odicy, appeared in 2011. A memoir, Romanian Notebook, was published in March 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Console is currently a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute.

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