Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Walter Bargen: Double-Yoked

Rain dissolves the bedroom windows.

Glass puddles and glistens over

the deck. Sirens and a storm arrive.

Every house in south county stricken.

Dawn smeared across the horizon,

through the trees. Stripped of leaves,

branches hold nothing of the coming year back.

Wind-shredded, thunder-struck, lightning-gouged,

sleep alludes desire. In Magna Graecia,

before the Krotons invaded, the city of Sybaris

outlawed roosters within its walls. The citizenry

slept late. Today the alarms are driven

by prophecy and the hour’s plucked gears.

The face in the window balloons,

set upon by a storm of hair. The face streaks

into a hundred chased droplets. Eyes

blind ponds.   He turns away, resurrects

himself in the kitchen. The iron skillet

an over-heated hell. The first cracked

egg spills two yokes. A reptile book

left open on the table pictures

a two-headed bull snake. If he stands

inside by the kitchen window,

cold and drenched, what does he see?

Always on the lookout for monsters.


Copyright 2019 Walter Bargen

Walter Bargen has published 21 books of poetry. Recent books include: Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems (BkMk Press, 2009), Trouble Behind Glass Doors (BkMk Press, 2013), Perishable Kingdoms (Grito del Lobo Press, 2017), and Too Quick for the Living (Moon City Press, 2017). His awards include: a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the William Rockhill Nelson Award. He was appointed the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009).

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2019 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , .

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