"I still get a thrill when I see a chipmunk
falling out of a chestnut tree, hoodwinked by life."

More Perihelion:

BobSward's Writer's Friendship Series



Issue 8: The Lily

Issue7: Passages

Issue6: No More Tears

Aquick 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

Henry Israeli

On the Anniversary of Your Death


Of phosphorous and lightning,
of God's Braille blessing,
of slanted whispers, of open
sores, of flowers opening,
of driving backwards, of breathing
blood, of driving bloody
in slippers, in slipshod,
in standing apart, of night
dropped, backdropped
night, of shame of
standing apart, of parting
never and always.


Follow the screw-worm into the navel,
tug typhus from a wound using words
fallen into ink. How many horses go mad
from endless circularity, how many detours
on the road to never-ending? From the navel
springs a fig tree, nurturing numerologically.
Betrayal atop betrayal, two cameras
pointed at one another, infinite gaze.
Make it f-stop. Make the mirror-game
the real game, no game, game enough.
Endless circularity, thought thick as
an angel's hair, braid, cloth of always.


Trusted Messenger

A brain sliced in half
and observed from above
resembles a drawing
of a tree.

A house is a gallows,
a curse a hymnal.

Spiral forth, naked, blind.



I live in the jungle at the edge of civilization.
Well, not quite. . . I live at the jungle-

gym near the hedgerow of realization;
that is, I have a goat that shakes

my martinis, or, conversely, I goad
my shook-up friend, Martin, with phrases

like, “I love the hubbub of a summer day,
the elixir of a widow in white stockings.”

I still get a thrill when I see a chipmunk
falling out of a chestnut tree, hoodwinked by life.

Though I’m disgusted with it myself.
Nature just doesn’t come as naturally

as it used to. Take the painted desert:
it would require a crew of journeymen

eons to scrub away the wall-
scrawl, the peacocks and milkweed

crayoned like sorrowful trinkets
along the skyway––

Where is truth? I’ll tell you:
truth is the woman who stands up

for the rights of vines and weeds,
of birthday-boys stupefied beneath

paper hats; truth is the man
who misinterprets the windy shoals

along the seaway for the raised skirts
of the virgins of Santa Lucia;

truth is the child who rides to town
on a fly-infested donkey, confessing his love

for all things loathsome and abhorrent,
saying, “aha, there you are, my little Eskimo,

my winch-and-pulley, my wild, everlasting,
hydrogen-bombing genius of a simian,”

before collapsing, a crooked thatch
of tangled ivy, blossoms opening like wounds,

releasing sweet contagion into the air,
the jungle at the ledge of articulation.