PoetryEtc Featured Poet: Mark Weiss   

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Frost on the road
eye on the goal.

Lost in the snow
like a big baby.
Forget what I know

the language impoverished by forethought.

In a mute country
shards of thought.
The brilliance of sea-creatures.
The mute within the sounding brass.
The silence
at the heart
of all traffic.
The bull
runs blindly to his death    no compromise in him
for his tormentors.
Bewildered, furious
and dead. This has nothing
to do with me, as if to say,
the wrong address,
the holy cause.

While spring cast blossoms on the pear
she spilled her music
into every cup.

is the engine
and the pursuit.

There is a seed of sorrow,
a plant at rest
Still up at 4 a.m.
to write,
to paint.
A bird
prepares for dawn,
a query
before sleep.

I had set out to make stars
and made a snarl.

"A new man,
and this one
has sox."
A fairytale through which the river flowed.
In his grief
their presence
tore him apart.
What did I know of the lost provinces?
that was my father's time.
Loose in her clothing poised
so that only her toe
Floating in some sort of viscous medium
He thinks the women
will want his hands on them
pulling them towards him.
The bride of randomness.
Reading by stormlight.
Testing the darkness
as if stepping off.
Immolation of small creatures on a light bulb.
The slave and the master.
The trivialization of everyday life.
Only the noise of the waves to guide him.
A dance for the virgin.
The rise and fall of breath
as delicate as the ocean.

I close my eyes and the god Chac
comes to me,
powerful as the sun.

All pleats and finery.
His apples.
Her breasts.
The transformative process at play.
Having become
the unquiet spirit
you always feared I would.
"I hate
carrying the virtuous
with a rancorous heart;"
she said.
Always surprised at whatever I've
found there.
I wished it, and it
I was a bird
I was a lamb
I was a man.
"Took the wrong
step, walked into
another rhetoric."


Relentless mobility.
Expensive dress that
her body rejects
even as she wears it. Too
sweaty, or
uneasy, a different kind of grace,
a different animal, as if a dog were constrained
to live disguised as a cat. Or a
social thing,
no other choice,
she thinks.
But she wants to be naked, even here, with everyone watching.
Carefully placing
each foot, as if
the sidewalk were a precipice.
Wouldn't that be a swamp to fall into.
She had lost the other hand as a teenager,
waving impetuously before boarding the plane,
a friend's one-engine prop on a fun hop to the next town. She didn't notice
the turning propeller. Sheared off
at the wrist. After that
she wore a store-mannequin's hand,
much like her own,
except that the nails
were always perfect.