City Ravine Gothic
This piece is about 3 printed pages long.
It is copyright © Steve Luxton and Jacket magazine 2007.
Over the corner moans
A ravenous mouthful
Of chewed wind.
A harp-nomad’s plaint
Coat lining is
Tear away sound.
A musical street-punk
Winter turned hand-to-mouth,
Proofing his solo
I dig him coin.
From his collars, he grins,
Grabs my frozen ear, swirls me possessed
Down the South Chicago alley
Of a bottomless blue bend.
Fetching, tea pastry-brained
doxy of the Fuhrer
(who once lectured his cronies on a Great man’s need for a stupid woman),
she obeyed his edict to keep from sight,
daydreamed over fashion and romance magazines,
but wept copiously over not being made a “respectable woman.”
Now and then threatened self destruction.
Ach, impossible female....
Life’s no Vienna operetta! On the Atlantic Wall
The sweinhundt generals
Require ceaseless supervision!
The English ignore my generous terms.
In the East, the subhuman resistance stiffens!
–And you weep, down to much white wine,
even smoke verboten cigarettes with
sentries at the Berghof, my mountain eyrie.
Then come wet-eyed to me
repeating defeatist rumours of retreats!
My Eva, I salute your touching loyalty! But what can I do?
Neglect the Anglo-Saxon, Bolshevist-Jewish cabal
To pay more attention to you?
An Ubermensch’s tasks mount dizzily.
Dr Morel’s energy injections restore me, symptomatically.
Late last night, after teletypes clattered from Stalingrad
the Slav hordes had burst through,
A strange dream visited the Greatest German in History.
Of a trite romantic finale.
–At the end: a wedding, two cyanite capsules,
a loaded Beretta, and thee
deep in a bunker after sweet cakes and tea.
Hoping my fumbled,
Ever unfinished manuscript toppled
On the study floor in the right order,
I scoop it up whole and intact
–Like some fallen out of the sky, broken-winged creature
I found when a kid, and determined
To heal and triumphantly release
Despite my dad, serious-eyed, advising
wild things man-handled
-The neighbour’s cat will make short,
more merciful work of it.
But such stern counsel never
Clipped my wings, just made me
Squeeze bitter tears–resolve
To muster all my care anyhow.
True the wild thing almost always succumbed.
Still I gather up my wounded thing from the floor,
City Ravine Gothic
From a tarnished eddy,
Late September fog
Raises a slim, waxy
Towards the ravine crest
From a smashed pine on the rim,
Likely hunting rats,
An owl’s shadow breaks,
Whispers as its floats over me,
Born in Coventry, England, Steve Luxton lives in Montreal and also near Ayers Cliff in the rural Eastern Townships of Quebec. By profession a teacher, he works at John Abbott College and Concordia University in the city. He is one of the original editors of both Matrix magazine and The Moosehead Review. He is the author of three poetry collections, the hills that pass by (1987), Iridium (1993) and Luna Moth and Other Poems (2004). He is, along with Keith Henderson, publisher of DC Books.
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