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This is Jacket 12, July 2000   |   # 12  Contents   |   Homepage   |   Catalog   |

Ethan Paquin

Two poems

Like the Song Goes, ‘There’s a Man with

a gun over there.’ Now, we must ask
whether that’s a soi-disant worldview,
said Q, who lunched with me frequently.

We’d eat as if we worked in cardboard,
our dusty factory around the cafe’s corner,
the shift commander and the union steward

shouting from the top steps, Come back,
come back. Croissants — put them down, you.
The cardboard is laden with water, and limp.

Q’s was an insight not of the ex-professor
who wrote a pamphlet on ‘JOHN-PAUL SARTER"
but of a man with collard salad, eating unsatisfied.


        Rejecting the plinth of constriction, involucral dust
spirals away toward freedom: prodigal dust.

        Rotor equals praetor, course equals lost;
conceal the tract of truth, o pellicle dust.

        In Wichita, a carnival showman connives,
peddling his stockpile of ‘Miracle Dust."

        She smells of hyacinth. She gloats adrift
the seiche of forgotten god and oracle — dust.

        Your neighbor’s love-seat hoards like a tenement
snippets of memory, mites and follicle (dust).

        Ever so acute in this box we call sunset
an angle of copper, a cacodyl dust.

        Bottles of vintage: diluted Thames,
Yangtze. In the carburetor: pebbles, Halical dust.

        So say we all this day, Ethan: the scion
will feather and burn as caracul dust.

Ethan Paquin

Ethan Paquin’s poems and reviews have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Boston Review, Verse, Stand, New American Writing, Meanjin, Overland and Quarterly West. He edits Slope, and teaches in the Writing Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He lives in New Hampshire.

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