Steve Halle (Palatine, Illinois, USA): Three Prose Poems


dear dangerfeld,
remember this riddle: in an opera box, Genius and Tyranny compete with constant elbows and jostles. the audience enraptured by distracting commotion misses the simple melody of dramas. by interwoven discourse, dinosaurs. the short arms flagellate an imperfection. a mixture of metallic materials contained in a matrix of zinc. perfect creatures and an extinction of teeth. remembrancing in a pac-man world i know the location of all the ghosts. yet still misstep. a failure to position my yellow orb in space and time. nowadays, memory is so first-person shooter. i see what i see but lurkers inhabit a finite beyond. like an infancy. no one remembers the self they create until they remember period. what if i created a beast of myself? o the pains of personhood! in the darkroom, i'm enamored of the moment before the chemicals bring forth image. then later the bubbles of a picture as it burns. in the infrared, i hear voices of the maestro. if the opera fails to satisfy, sleep. yet be forewarned, the fight goes on and despite a sharp rise in merchandise sales for the third quarter, Genius is well behind. when you awake, you will feel between scream and song. suspended like swung semiotics.
fevered and forgotten,


lustthrust as lastgasp of genial weather aflame to falling out bobby pins her hair is not flame-retardent. the heirs to a succession of depression dinkdrift along, caught in eddies the ditties in rivers of convolution. what said differs from what did in painful change and falling hipswell and sore and naming. she of no name not Arabella. if a spring comes after, it will be of declaring and declaratives. leaves and snow are white noise unheard. a leaf hits a lake wave the rushcrush an if makes sense it's not so for softening. underneath depression: lichens a lake a surface blind to flux nevertheless o Saussure declares of depth: deep fulfillment does no more than clarify our deepest longings. an assignation is thrill assigned to guilt in unlit fires the hermitage burns. a woman by my blue or her black knows or conscious of her aspect a leaf flutters away undecided wind a tree leaf aflame thinks "tongue-of-the-mind" awhirl in flutterflux autumn yields to the flavor of falling gone winter gone barren no buds beyond what beauty gone balded.


myspace is aself athwart its own purgatorio. in dormancy transparency a her augmentations. silkspun in black expensive those unshy pithy about bulges. or labial trims. tree analogous to phases: root of imagniation, trunk of reality suspended betwixt, braches and leaves of a false consequenced real. shelter from the inclemency of season or barbarity of others. in a time of flame, all is pendulous. a season screams and Damoclesian. before a fifteen minutes. what does she think of how I think she thinks I view her? perceiving the leaves smells a whisper of burning. a falls is no nosegay not hinting at betrothal. not even in catching. now is the time to play Doctor. male enhancement a victor more than nature allows. what lies beyond or what crazy buds a throbbing star what darkness we follow what into cocooning discovery. on a possible other side a digital shell buzzes. self atop self a god-making god runs amuck. click upon click a pile. a sour smell crumbs on a sweatshirt.

© Steve Halle 2007

Timothy Yu (Chicago/Toronto, USA/Canada): Four Poems

to Helene

There’s a green dustcover over every place
That seems worth going back to, pilled
By thinking, candy-apple tart.
You’ve just begun your trip around
The map of where you are when some
Remembered patchwork drops on top of it,
Catching every hook with an eye
That glances homeward. Don’t tell us how
You’ve always wanted this to be
Your starring role. Cast
Off your energetic plush
And wrap one callback finger
Around each ornament.
That’s when you’ll really know
How wishes rise like buried
Grains of rice or breadloaf
Juttings into marked-off space,
Nodding spring-loaded heads along
To this defeated beat.

to Soham

Brown down, past half-spent dollars, went
like ever-feather-loving doorbells. Aren’t
you going to get that? Look up for
your next homefront girl. If every
giggle was a gaggle of fleece, we’d
never know how to tie off our own
open mouths. Now I am hailing
a taxi at every dead-end street
corner, playing “Here Comes the Guy”
on my stupid box. You don’t
like it? That’s a shame. It’s meant
to be repeated every thirteen days
on a bareback island shore.
Shorten up those reins. Cover
every eye with wax. Wilt
greens and blues over unbearable
heat. The greatest bandbox
hits of 1885 are back
to haunt our driving rain.
Can’t you hear them between
the bars of this browning
breadstick cage? I can.

to Hossannah

It was an ordinary day.
Firefighters were lounging
with coffee and tape measures.
The condiment table was fully
stocked. Then the door
closed. Through the wall I could hear
Harry and Hermione with Bruce
Willis at the site
of another building explosion. Or
were they calling my name?
Nowhere to go
but up, I guess. My fingers
wrapped the ledge like a sausage.
I pulled like rowing
and became a hero.

to Jen

They enter wearing poem-proof vests.
Each is armed with a Poetry Magazine
totebag. In close formation
they swarm the free tables for copies of Make
and Stop Smiling. The chorus
of pixies falls silent. Smokers
are escorted to the loading dock.
No more free half-hot dogs with everything
for you, I'm afraid. We flee
wearing nothing but hard hats and suspenders.
But still the door won't
close. Disperse, they say, disperse,
like clouds in a cloudless sky.

© Timothy Yu 2007