Size / / /

I too dislike it.

But something has to keep the garden free

of insects and apparitions.

It is here, this poultry,

to see clearly that nothing is there

and see that nothing clearly:

that there is

no apparition in the shroud

and nonetheless collect

the apparitions of those faces

in the crowd.

Picture someone scattering seeds of light

that will blossom into faces,

real or unreal.

Think of a subway tunnel through the turnips,

its mole moving assiduously through it,

a buried light cutting its path through ink.

The chickens.

The red wheelbarrow.

The toad that carries its ruby,

a searchlight

in the center of its head.

Think about poultry.

Try not to think about poetry.




Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
Wednesday: Unity by Elly Bangs 
Friday: The Cabinet by Un-Su Kim, translated by Sean Lin Halbert 
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