back toJacket2

This is Jacket 13 - April 2001   |   # 13  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
Please enable your browser's Style Sheets feature

Barbara Campbell

Parable for a Marriage Long Sought

Here is the woman with the visible spine, curled so the woman
of the grave situation, the toiling night
in her place a man burns unconsumed
in her place a room shifts in wild drunken light
the woman who pulled from the horse its spine eviscerate eviscerate
who boned the fish, the pheasant and felt no physical pain

Here is the woman whose spine kicks, whose sleep packs the languid air
as the room moans the room roars the room
confines the dream his body the chant of days the vegetable memory of light


Here is the man with a bone caught crosswise in his throat
who cannot speak his plight
who means no harm
whom the mirror feeds for hours half a day
watch: as the field
watch: as a red house comes in and out of focus for hours
here a man has lost his shoe
here the heart is a fist of linen
watch: as here alights a wasp a sparrow at the high bright windows
there was such speed in my body
transept mirror screen
who cannot speak his plight
watch: as the room confines a dream of bodies arrayed in rows on the melting ice


Watch, as here a love poem is composed in strictest light, written
to the packed air to the days arranged sequentially each unsleeping here
watch as the dream retells itself:

         once upon a time there was a hundred buttons
         once upon a time the sparrow sought her own descent
         once five months five months I courted
         once let patience have her perfect work:

The economy of light, sighs, secondhand goods, wool & flax, animals, birds, and ice

New American Writing # 19 and Jacket 13   Contents page
Select other issues of Jacket magazine from the | Jacket catalog | read about Jacket |
Other links: | top | homepage | bookstores | literary links | internet design|
Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that this material is copyright. It is made available here without charge for personal use only. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose

This issue of Jacket is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
published in the northern spring of each year by Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover
369 Molino Avenue, Mill Valley CA 94941, USA
All back issues of New American Writing including No. 4 (New Australian Poetry) can be downloaded in their entirety and at half price from InfoPost at

This material is copyright © Barbara Campbell
and Jacket magazine and New American Writing magazine 2001
The URL address of this page is