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2 Poems || Adam Palumbo

All soldiers all soldiers all soldiers have a similar strength a storm of unyielding wholesome good like an apostle oathed to a firmness courageous and this common to all soldiers and yet

Frenzied and unnatured partners spewing bullets each each in fast fast motion momentous in torsion of spirit and body mostly it was a knocking and a red mist and a leaving and an empty boot

The courageous man marvels that he owes no debt no longer sees dark dangers as a blur no more rising with his cohorts to contend with the cruel and the quorum of the dead

But inasmuch as he tries to live now he tries but he knows the music he listens to is not really playing his mind is not alive but just pretending a windowed machine without moving parts

And now all errands become a dream about the ruinous blaze and a sight that is not a sight overtakes him birds not singing only screaming shrill and the chemicals rise like a descendent dread and the collusion of horror and time has reached its head

Here we see the concision of conscious in medical circles we call that anomalist resistance and nonchalance a sinister state wherein joys grow dimmed all senses quenched no aim for hope or aid a dire sigh

How do we get here this segue in the search for meaning for meaning does not always come searching for you after all Moses glowed when the LORD appeared unto him a ruddy shine but you are no Moses

A terrible beauty and confusion at what all belongs here and there and where is everyone how does this happen and no matter what happens this has all been too long a sacrifice

When he returns the courageous man marvels that all freedom ekes away though that is what he fought for those years in the desert place full of spiders now at home everything is still and still and still


-the lines of Rene Char, from the translations of Mary Ann Caws
I love and I sob, I am living
I hurt and I am weightless
As I approach I depart
I leave you nothing to think
Praise, praise, we have come to terms with ourselves
The Sorgue enshrined me
beneath the humus of those powdery strides
I was raised amongst wood fires, next to embers
I hid among reeds under the care of creatures strong as oaks and sensitive as birds
I was one of those forests where the sun has no access
River of regard for dreams, river that rusts iron
where free pain is under the quick of the water
The clover of passion is iron in my hand
The earth loved us a little, I remember
The blade of his song closed the bed of sorrow
It held us amorous on the all-powerful arch of its imagination
The poet has returned for a long span of years into the naught of the father
The poet quickens, then races to the outcome
an extreme and compact fortune is our mountain range
Nothing any longer has name, except the shudder. It is night
far away a bed lies patient and trembling in the exile of its fragrant covers
I am a block of earth reclaiming its flower
Some put their trust in a round imagination
I would place my sleep at the disposition of the true night
My bed is a torrent with dried-up banks
Even in the midst of morning and our frenzy
quite heedless of an adventure
I lull the tender-eyed lightning to sleep
counterpoint of the void in which
the unnameable Beast
marks the moving of interwoven certainties
I heard the slither of the fearful grass-snake
The serpent sows
No one lives in space more narrow than he
amid his bloodstream’s briar-brake
Certain beings have a meaning that escapes us
Woman sleeping in flower pollen, lay lightly in his pride your frost of limitless medium
until the shoulders butt the heart
Thus he would start again until
in their narrow hands I read the joust of these stars calling others
He challenged her, went straight for her heart, like a boxer
We don’t believe in the good faith of the victor
They try to break away from stones too wise, too warm
O the exhausted motion of her diction!
The space she traverses is my faithfulness
Love, the equal of terror
From the darkness of the rock to
this child on your shoulder
Worlds of eloquence have been lost
Go one, we endure together; and together, although separate
What fear on our lips tomorrow?
Adam Palumbo is a poet-critic from Annapolis, MD. His research includes rigorous people-watching, too many hours on his computer, and wearing sweatpants in the kitchen. He reads a lot and writes a little. He has published poetry at The Northern Virginia Review and St. Katherine Review and poetry reviews at The Rumpus, PANK, and Rattle