Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Two poems by John Swain

Bitter for the Cymbals

Bitter for the cymbals
I stand inside an hour
caught between two evenings.
Pine shade creates its separate night,
wet needles make a bed
for my falling spellbound.
You insert tubes in the moon,
so I transfuse
then we alternate tastes.
Fire brightens the curtain,
I wear your ash garland
until the phoenix finally dies.


On the Anvil

I left the death mask on the anvil.
From entrance of silver and diamonds
the path unwound into darkness.
Charred trees bloomed with human fruit,
I wore a woman's face under ashes,
I wore the face when she was aching,
a severed wing dripped blood onto the ground.
The river inspires forgetfulness,
when you crushed pearls I met light,
then we got lost in fields of crocus.
The wind carried stench of decomposition,
scavenger birds crowned the netherworld
and I was drowned in my black mouth
pretending nothing ever happened.

Author bio:

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. His chapbook, Prominences, recently appeared from Flutter Press.

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