HomeArchiveAboutMastheadJoin POW ListserveDonate
Nicole Cuddeback

03-07-08

The New Husband

 

At sundown bats flurry round the rooftops

like flustered angels.  Blessing isn't easy.

 

As a child in the soup of the Gulf,

how the mouths of fish bumped along my shin.

 

The lingering of those slick forms at the skin's verge

seemed like a grace, a border world tapping

 

for that thing alone in the body.  Tonight I see

it's solitude I've forgotten.  Without it

 

the loneliness brims.  The shipwreck sun dips

as the doors of the drab balconies open

 

like night blooms, and the bats sort their black-outs

of divine and diverge.  Whatever it is they do

 

they let it look like recklessness.

Lashing the dusk to the fish-boned crosses

 

of antennas trolling the heavens, the bats veer

around the wire as if reeling in

 

on pieces of cages.  Jagged wounds retraced

all night, nearly touched, nearly crashed through to.

 

Tonight I'm raw as the twilight, craving

crash.  Wholeness.  Blunder of some featherless wing.

 

Son of Medea   

 

Sunlight sang through the thick door's crack.

            And I heard her words,

                         yet chose not to wake my brother,

 

the one content to toss his ball

            eternally.  Sad

                         is what they called me, wandering

 

the streets far as I was allowed,

            and then I would go

                         one more.  Both mother and father,

 

but more mother, dark of eye, hand.

             My face hers, they said.

                         Unworried, forgetful brother,

 

sleep on.  Your death is dead.  Mine spreads,

             ravels like spring clouds.

                         Mother/father, sky/field, wave/rock,

 

when will men see how unions are

             impossible, birth

                         proof of nothing, no link of life.

 

Small likeness, but hollow.  Circle

             around the failure

                         to incarnate.  Imaginings

 

can't agree with flesh.  Father went.

             How could we have lived?

                         Invalid promises.  He'd bring

 

toys: stuffed, golden lambs of wool-scrap

             sewn to suck at love,

                         kiss-worn, stitch-lip feigning, teaching

 

what it is to love fleece borne to

             hearth fire.  We're the scorch

                        of dislodged bones, the joint dissolved.

 

Mother, Father survive, wither,

             wander.  Forever

                        children, we live in death's black nut,

 

gardens at night.  No ichor here.

             I'm gift gown, burnt crown,

                        wrath's volume, passion's girth.  Canyons

 

for a gut, a child of divorce,

             a grave.  But the clouds

                        I waved arms I could not move.  Wisps

 

of shaggy cirrus couched our craft.

             As if drowsed, I strained

                        to admire the jade sun-dragons,

 

the approving blue of the sky,

             to sit up, reach for

                        those splendid serpents!  Mother's arm

 

cradled my small back; I could not

            feel it there.  Pretty,

                        feathery sun ramyes, my death

 

was radiantdazzling spiral

            of horns, you came late.

                        Now I'm alone.  The beguiling

 

symbols gone.  I am no longer

            damned as their love.  Freed

                        from belief in what cannot be.

 

                    -from The Saint of Burning Down



 

 

Archive


Kim Addonizio 03-14-08

 

Agha Shahid Ali 09-14-07

 

Alice Anderson 11-16-08

 

Renee Ashley 04-10-2010

 

Christianne Balk 07-27-07

 

Brian Barker 07-07-07

 

Polina Barskova 09-13-2010

 

Bruce Beasley 11-22-08

 

Nicky Beer 09-06-2010

 

Nicky Beer 08-22-08

 

Nathaniel Bellows 04-27-09

 

Ciaran Berry 01-25-09

 

Linda Bierds 08-31-07

 

Kristin Bock 08-17-09

 

Bruce Bond 02-18-2012

 

John Bradley 03-12-2012

 

Brian Brodeur 03-29-09

 

Michelle Boisseau 09-20-2010 

 

Sophie Cabot Black 03-26-2012

 

Anne Caston 09-24-09

 

Anne Caston 02-27-2011

 

Elizabeth Biller Chapman 01-25-08

 

Nicole Cooley 04-05-09

 

Stephen Cramer 02-14-2011

 

Nicole Cuddeback 03-07-08

 

Steve Davenport 03-29-2010

 

Cortney Davis 05-03-09

 

Todd Davis 11-01-2010

 

James Dickey 03-12-2012

 

Stephen Dobyns 02-26-2012

 

Elizabeth Dodd 09-05-08

 

Karen Donovan 04-15-07

 

Mark Doty 04-11-08

 

Stephen Dunn 11-09-02010

 

Lynn Emanuel 08-30-2010

 

Lynnell Edwards 11-22-2010

 

B. H. Fairchild  09-04-09

 

Elyse Fenton 04-25-2011

 

Nick Flynn 01-28-2012

 

Nick Flynn 10-04-2010

 

Rachel Contreni Flynn 04-10-2011

 

Carolyn Forche 09-21-07

 

Carrie Fountain 03-21-2011

 

James Galvin 02-23-07

 

Margaret Gibson 01-24-10

 

Mary Jo Firth Gillett 02-22-08

 

Dana Gioia 08-23-2010

 

Eugene Gloria 09-20-08

 

Louise Gluck 03-17-2010

 

Kevin Goodan 08-29-08

 

Matthew Graham 11-28-2010

 

Robert Grunst 11-16-07

 

Bruce Guernsey 9-13-2011

 

Elizabeth Hadaway 06-15-07

 

John Haines 11-01-2011

 

Donald Hall 02-10-07

 

Sarah Hannah 11-25-2011

  

C. G. Hanzlicek 04-23-2012

 

Jeff Hardin 08-10-07

 

Elizabeth Haukaas 09-13-2011

 

Brooks Haxton 03-08-10

 

Seamus Heaney 09-11-09

 

Jamey Hecht 12-05-2010

 

Bob Hicok 10-25-2011

 

 

Andrew Hudgins 11-21-09

 

Lynda Hull 05-20-07

 

Henry Israeli 01-23-2011

 

Major Jackson 05-02-2010

 

Mark Jarman 10-19-08

 

Rodney Jones 10-26-09

 

Barbara Jordan 02-02-09

 

Ilya Kaminsky 11-18-2011

 

Daniel Khalastchi 8-30-2011

 

Brigit Pegeen Kelly 10-12-08

 

Jane Kenyon 04-01-07

 

Suji Kwock Kim 11-09-2011

 James Kimbrell 04-07-2010

James Kimbrell 01-19-07

 

Galway Kinnell 11-09-07

 

Yusef Komunyakaa 07-15-07

 

Phil Levine 06-03-07

 

Eleanor Lerman 11-02-08

 

Larry Levis 04-04-08

 

Larry Levis 02-08-2010

 

Lisa Lewis 02-11-2012

 

Sandy Longhorn 04-26-08

 

Corey Marks 10-03-07

 

Adrian Matejka 04-18-08

 

Davis McCombs 01-18-08

 

Jeffrey McDaniel 10-08-2011

 

Michael McGriff 02-22-09

 

Jay Meek 01-16-2010

 

Anne Michaels 01-18-09

 

Nils Michals 02-29-08

 

Keith Montesano 12-12-2010

 

Malena Morling 05-12-08

 

Simone Muench 02-08-08

 

Sharon Olds 02-22-07

 

Sharon Olds 10-19-07

 

Michael Ondaatje 02-01-2010

 

Eric Pankey 09-07-07

 

Gregory Pardlo 06-22-07

 

Ed Pavlic 09-28-07

 

Oliver de la Paz 02-15-2010

 

Lucia Perillo 12-04-09

 

Catherine Pierce 04-18-2011

 

Jon Pineda 04-09-2012

 

Donald Platt 02-15-08

 

Joshua Poteat 03-13-2011

 

Joshua Poteat 11-3-09

 

Wyatt Prunty 02-20-2011

 

Dean Rader 03-07-2011

 

Amy Randolph 03-01-09

 

Robert Randolph 12-12-09

 

Adrienne Rich 04-20-2010

 

Joshua Robbins 11-16-2010

 

David Roderick 12-07-07

 

Bobby C. Rogers 02-04-2012

 

Pattiann Rogers 3-21-08


 Steve Scafidi 10-09-09

 

Jim Schley 10-19-09

 

Tim Seibles 10-08-07

 

David Shumate 10-26-08

 

Dave Smith 04-10-09 

 

Katherine Soniat 01-21-2012

 

Katherine Soniat 11-30-07

 

Gary Soto 03-23-07

 

Mark Sullivan 08-28-09

 

Mathias Svalina 04-02-2012

Frank Stanford 10-25-2010

Mark Strand 02-22-2010

 

Mark Svenvold 03-23-09

 

Robert Thomas 05-03-2011

 

Brian Turner 05-13-07

 

Joshua Vinzant 01-30-2011

 

Tribute to Virginia Tech 04-24-07

 

Connie Voisine 10-1-2011

 

Charles Harper Webb 10-12-07

 

David Wevill 03-27-2011

 

C.K. Williams 05-25-07

 

Susan B.A. Somers-Willett 06-29-07

 

Charles Wright 01-27-07

 

Robert Wrigley 10-11-2010

 

Robert Wrigley 08-17-07

 

Robert Wrigley 04-09-07

 

Robert Wrigley 02-03-07