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Jim Culleny
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Ode to the Cat The animals were imperfect, long-tailed, dismal in the head. Little by little they composed themselves, becoming a landscape, gaining spots, grace, flight. The cat, only the cat, appeared complete and proud: born completely finished, it walks... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at 3quarksdaily
How Things Work Today it's going to cost us $20 To live. Five for softball. Four for a book, A handful of ones for coffee and two sweet rolls, Bus fare, Rosin for your mother's violin. We’re completing our task.... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at 3quarksdaily
Blood I am blood—fennel and mint-spiced, a tired line of arthritic fingers, strained eyes. I am cold Brooklyn nights, apartment houses, frosted front windows facing the El. I am curses, spells, bowlfuls of oil and salt, a language gasping near-dead,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Postcard From a Port The philosopher González Pérez, stevedore of seat number three, examines with imperceptible avidity the sensual movement of the sea. Each white drop of foam having brought forth a gram of a grand immeasurable secret. The roar... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Concerning Bella Gravitas, the manager said, flipping resume pages, he started at the demilitarized zone on my head from roots to ear, white advancing south from the crown, chestnut retreating down. He should have know Bella, my Romanian grandmother, she... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Tonight Whatever it is about this poor schmuck crashing his beater Plymouth into a light pole then scaling a chain-link fence in socks and no shirt, cheek bleeding, Mets cap backward I’m not sure, but suddenly he’s running through somebody’s... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
In this, I tell you that everything you ask for in prayer, know that you will receive it, and it will come to you. — Saint Mark 11/24 My Prayer Enlil, Krishna, Hydrogen atom or whatever you’re called I beg... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Notices Once an Irishman in his coffin had to be wrapped from foot to chin in English wool, not Irish linen. I saw this notice: “Some striped scars on his back, runaway slave stole himself, calls himself Jack.” . by... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
House of Cards I miss you winter evenings With your dim lights. The shut lips of my mother And our held-breaths As we sat at a dining room table. Her long, thin fingers Stacking the cards, Then waiting for them... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Walking in Paris I come back to your youth, my Nana, as if I might clean off the mad woman you became, withered and constipated, howling into your own earphone. I come, in middle age, to find you at twenty... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Just a Second Ago I had an urge to toss my drink across the visiting poet’s shirt. Hello. I liked your reading. Red wine spreading into the whiteness It was a wonderful reading of his shirt. My hand—my glass— is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
A Phone Call to the Future 1. Who says science fiction is only set in the future? After a while, the story that looks least believable is the past. The console television with three channels. Black-and-white picture. Manual controls: the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Someone is Beating a Woman Someone is beating a woman In the car that is dark and hot Only the whites of her eyes shine. Her legs thrash against the roof Like berserk searchlight beams. Someone is beating a woman.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Pistachios The day the clocks move forward she considers which hour she would like to lose, the hour chased through pantry, dining room, den with a knife in her pants to hurt father's giant hand when he spanks her for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Traveler's Tale I heard them making love in the next room all night on and off at every hour. I heard moans, whisperings and sighs and in between silence and its power. I hardly slept, they kept me half awake.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
The Second Coming Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Electric Elegy —for Robert Hass Farewell, German radio with your green eye and your bulky box, together almost composing a body and soul. (Your lamps glowed with a pink, salmony light, like Bergson's deep self.) Through the thick fabric of... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Theater Impressions For me a tragedy's most important act is the sixth: the resurrecting from the stage's battlegrounds, the adjusting of wigs, of robes, the wrenching of knife from breast, the removing of noose from neck, the lining up among... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Diatribe Against the Dead The dead are selfish: they make us cry and don't care, they stay quiet in the most inconvenient places, they refuse to walk, we have to carry them on our backs to the tomb as if... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Map A hill, a farm, A forest, and a valley. Half hill plowed, half woods, A forest valley and a valley field. Sun passes over; Two solstices a year Cow in pasture Sometimes a deer A farmhouse built of wood.... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
John M. Church I was attorney for the "Q" And the Indemnity Company which insured The owners of the mine. I pulled the wires with judge and jury, And the upper courts, to beat the claims Of the crippled, the... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
BASHÕ I Old man in the middle of reeds suspicion of the poet. He goes his way to the North he composes a book with his eyes. He writes himself on the water he has lost his master. Love only... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
In Manufacturing If one of us, because his wife had left, Pulled a base tube from the press too late or soon, And another, because a child had cried All night, brought her caliper too quickly Around its flange, a... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
One of the Citizens What we have here is a mechanic who reads Nietzsche, who talks of the English and the French Romantics as he grinds the pistons; who takes apart the Christians as he plunges the tarred sprockets and... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2017 at 3quarksdaily
Chaos Theory I heard a scientist say the flutter of a butterfly's wing could cause a tornado, that the theory of cause and effect has been shaken to the roots, that we cannot reduce hurricanes, floods, the knife edge of... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2017 at 3quarksdaily