ISSN 2692-3912

Poems by Cyrus Console





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



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 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





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





“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.