Apartment Poetry Quarterly

4A              4B              4C              4D              4E              4F


4B Joe Fletcher



What appears? What lowers
a milky and sky-wide eye
to the nether end of Brahe’s scope?
What blind tuber twines from
shadows born from the eclipse?
We stroll through a garden
of dark rays, and stoop to gather
from the glinting veins lodged
in black steeps of Canadian ice.
A small meal of rotten rice
and sawdust soaked in hen blood
and acorns spilled during the quake
that takes the four directions from
the horizon and tangles them
on the Iberian flats. My two
children leap as if tomorrows
will continue to unspool from
the creaking loom behind the moon.
My two children sleep as if the meteor
was an arcing ember faintly tracing
the scratched smoked glass of night.
I lie awake in the frosted grass.
Some sick man in a black chair
stutters a poem about red ships
splintered among the sea-frothed
fangs of rock. The silent sailors
sank to their seabed graves. But
something in the sky saves us,
if only to look more closely,
or for a last time.


A form pushes me
into itself from within.
I am the shape
of the sound of a drum.
A smart wind blew
a space open in my head
where I think the blue jay
that tears the shell
from the drowsy beetle
and inhales its sap
would be nothing
without the blue
but a massless singing.
How could I think that
without the medullary
fibrillae, the taut strings,
the meninges and matres,
the imperceptible glands
curled like mushrooms
whose throbbing gills
have drunk magnetic light
of red suns somewhere?
An angel told me this and
that in infancy a fancy
face floats down the forest
canopy, and lands
on our blind, bald, heads,
smeared and raving.
When the tingling roots
find soil, you first see
how little you can do,
how there is no you
without the influx.
What about you? I said,
reaching at the angel,
who drenched my hands
in rotting colors and
with a whistle withdrew.