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This is Jacket 14 - July 2001   |   # 14  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with SALT magazine

Mary Jo Bang

Two poems

Don’t Know Why There’s No Sun Up in the Sky Stormy Weather

The urge to see through things.
The day begins with a shimmer,
the blue square becomes a window, the box
a building. The vertical lines the final
page in an exercise book that’s closing over last year’s profusion
of lilacs.
By the banks of the Mississippi, she sat down and wept.
The rapture was over. Now a melding of comic motifs
with tragic. The knife on the balustrade did not bode well.
She lay down in a green sweater,
rested the back of her hand on her forehead.
The private acts become strange
when subjected to inquiry.

You get on a bus.
The bus takes off
from the base of a column.
There is singing somewhere. Then you’re sitting
on a mohair sofa. Smoking the last cigarette
that must last a lifetime. In a red dress
you answer a telephone
and say,
so sweetly, I.

The Question of Remains

The day she put on her glitz teardrops
and OHon lip-gloss,
ate an orange on an empty
and took the 8-train
to Grackleville, she met a man
climbing a narrow stairwell,
repeating to himself, This is all, this is all.
The music of a popular march played
in his head. This, he said, is all,
directing any further comment
to a longtime opposition blooming in his chest.
No, he said, to the offer
of a chaotic labyrinth of clouds,
devotion, rain, creatures from fables,
and opulent solitude.
Alone he entered the thicket
of empty situations, the conversation’s crude
rhetorical force,
muttering as he went, This is all -

Apprentice to death. Toxic grace.
Terrible and beautiful repose.
Dismay and murkiest waters.
The blighted morning.
The coordinate night.
The sad fact of the pink glow
of Grackleville’s late iridescence.

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This issue of Jacket is a co-production with SALT magazine,
an international journal of poetry and poetics, edited by John Kinsella
PO Box 937, Great Wilbraham, Cambridge PDO, CB1 5JX United Kingdom ISSN 1324-7131

This material is copyright © Mary Jo Bang
and Jacket magazine and SALT magazine 2001
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