"I put my fists out and hope
I hit something."

More Perihelion:

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews



A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Valarie Duff

Nick Flynn

Jim Behrle

Fred Marchant

Jacob Strautmann

Vera Kroms

Henry Israeli

Daniel Gutstein

Joyelle McSweeney

David Dodd Lee

Daniel Bosch

Michael Perrow

Luljeta Lleshanaku

Miklós Radnóti

Nikolai Baitov

Drago Stambuk

Zafer Senocak

Valarie Duff

View on the Arno: Coming About

(after a painting by Thomas Cole)

Explain immersion, watch the cashmere sun
extend to edge and vanish so the captain
says. Across the floor, we spot another mast.
A green hull pulls against the drag, where bodies
brushed on boats patrol like swans. They're almost
us. We overlap. In this world, real or psychological,
life's fuzzy toward the shore. The plot of water stiffens
while we wait, slurred and faceless, tight inside the boat.
Land-trapped relations wave us in to sleep-a moon
to stretch across-to cottonwood, weeds that fringe
the frame, stake the wall. Flax. Curl and swag, green
between shores, resistant.
Note: we like it here, we like the birds
that never sing but watch us.


The Mill Wheel

The last gables fade off the street.
I count up my failures, gaze at my nails,
the wolf rolls from my mouth,
bares his teeth-
we love this as much as we hate it.
Alone, we walk to the park.

Relief comes in a place that's not
ours, on a bench, dogs barking. Down the street,
a ball is tossed again and again
on the side of house, the heart's thud.
He's got eyes that look through me

to treadmills, the mule's
dead circle, steps lightly.
Battalions and bayonets,
thoughts threading the chaos and sulphur
of me. Deep in it, we're wolves,
checking out people. We stick together.
At least we have each other,
never sleep, have difficulty forgetting.
We know all the shopkeepers' names.
I put my fists out
and hope I hit something.

He asks why I'm blind now.
The walls rust each afternoon,
tints in the wood are crows,
a necklace, a light shaft,
a glass with water in it,

a green swath of forest,
bright sun, all I've seen.
Roads, the arrows shot at birds,
sacred places, old haunts.
The slaughter of cows in England.
The light the shades keep out.