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Snow in North Jersey

August Kleinzahler, 22 February 1996

... Snow is falling along the Boulevard and its little cemeteries hugged by transmission shops and on the stone bear in the park and the WWI monument, making a crust on the soldier with his chinstrap and bayonet It’s blowing in from the west over the low hills and meadowlands swirling past the giant cracking stills that flare all night along the Turn ...

A Wine Tale

August Kleinzahler, 12 February 2009

... For Lee Harwood Behind the château, its celebrated ‘candle-snuffer’ towers and Gothic traceries engraved and worn proudly on the labels of how many bottles of Pinot and Bourgogne, the old caretaker sleeps in the shadow of the cistern, its wood sweating and frayed, the autumnal, late afternoon light bringing to this rustic tableau the kind of orange-tinted, unworldly radiance he would remember from his childhood, viewing scenes from Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood in the family attic, having stolen off with his big sister’s cherished stereoscope ...

Hollyhocks in the Fog

August Kleinzahler, 4 December 2008

... Every evening smoke blows in from the sea, sea smoke, ghost vapour of lost frigates, sunken destroyers. It hangs over the eucalyptus grove, cancels the hills, curls around garbage sacks outside the lesbian bar. And every evening the black bus arrives, the black Information bus from down the Peninsula, unloading the workers at the foot of the block. They wander off, this way and that, into the fog ...

Shoot the Freak

August Kleinzahler, 17 July 2008

... Shoot the freak Cold wind, boardwalk nearly empty You know you wanna A cluster of hip-hop Lubavitch punks, shirt tails out, talking tough You shoot him he don’t shoot back Keeper-flatties thrashing in buckets, out there on the pier Shoot the freakin’ freak A regular family of man out there, fishing for fluke and blues in that wind How you gonna ...

Two Poems

August Kleinzahler, 25 July 2002

... Hyper-Berceuse: 3 a.m. Imagine in all the debris of space The countless trade names Jugurtha Tuwolomne Chert-Farms Some of these belong to you Can you tell which ones Each has its own sequence of microtones Together they make up a kind of tune Your tune The ceiling and walls are star maps Breathing, alive Those aren’t stars, darling That’s yo ...

September

August Kleinzahler, 3 August 2006

... The long-beleaguered home team, black hats and orange piping, is eliminated on a cool night, the very end of September, with the phlox zerspalten by rain, as Benn wrote, and giving forth a strange animal smell, seltsamen Wildgeruchs. While the neighbouring team from across the Bay, the ones with green leggings, younger and more brazen, were finished earlier still, after the clamour attending their mid-summer surge ...

Secondary Sexual Characteristics

August Kleinzahler, 13 December 2007

... I Spindrift of grunion spume in moonlight Granular, sorrel-coloured, ammoniac Upon the tide’s retreat A meniscus of foam hissing in sand The milt bores deep II His presence was more than unwelcome The change room strictly off-limits Except for the dancers Relish of wild duck cooked with olives The slight scent of prussic acid A faint whiff of ov ...

Anniversary

August Kleinzahler, 21 June 2007

... You’d figure the hawk for an isolate thing, commanding the empyrean, taking his ease in the thermals and wind until that retinal flick, the plunge and shriek – cruelly perfect at what he is. With crepe myrtle igniting the streets and flowering pansy underfoot I’d get out there just after dawn each day, before the sun made it over the mesquite and honey locust ...

Closing It Down on the Palisades

August Kleinzahler, 25 February 2010

... 1: September Kettles, rain hats – the small, unopened bottle of Angostura bitters, its label stained and faded with the years. The breeze is doing something in the leaves it hasn’t been, not at this hour. The light, as well. Early yet for the cicadas, their gathering rush and ebb. Too cool, the sun not high enough. A cardinal darting among the shadows in back of the yard, only at this hour and again at dusk ...

Two Poems

August Kleinzahler, 24 September 2014

... Snow Approaching on the Hudson Passenger ferries emerge from the mist       river and sky, seamless, as one –             watered ink on silk then disappear again, crossing back over       to the other shore, the World of Forms –             as-if-there-were, as-if-there-were-not The buildings on the far shore ghostly       afloat, cinched by cloud about their waists –             rendered in the boneless manner Cloud need not resemble water       water need not resemble cloud –             breath on glass The giant HD plasma screen atop Chelsea Piers       flashing red and green –             stamped seal in a Sesshu broken ink scroll A tug pushes the garbage scow, left to right, toward the sea       passing in and out of the Void –             vaporising grey, temporal to timeless Clouds wait, brooding for snow       and hang heavily over the earth –             Ch’ien Wei-Yen Bustle of traffic in the sky, here, as well, on the shore below       obliterated –             empty silk The wind invisible       spume blown horizontal in the ferry’s wake –             wind atmosphere, river silk Heat The blue-bellied fence lizards have died back into stone or the walls they attach themselves to, drinking in mineral and sun, proliferating almost before one’s eyes, a slow-motion saurian mitosis threatening to blanket every surface, a reticulated vine with eyes and split tongues ...

A Baroque Scot’s Excess

August Kleinzahler, 25 October 2012

... Sesquipedalian Thomas, aureate Urquhart, Sir Thomas of Cromarty, author of THE TRISSOTETRAS: OR A MOST EXQUISITE TABLE FOR RESOLVING ALL MANNER OF TRIANGLES, and the most commendable LOGOPANDECTEISION, OR AN INTRODUCTION TO THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE, dedicated to Nobody, and, not least, his PANTOCHRONOCHANON: or, A PECULIAR PROMPTUARY OF TIME which, with rare exactitude, traces the URQUHART line from the Creation of the World and Adam, ‘surnamed the Protoplast’, ‘unto 1652: these including Esormon, Prince of Achaia (2139 BC) and Pamprosodos Urquhart, who married Termuth, the Pharaoh’s daughter who found Moses among the bulrushes ...

The Art Farm

August Kleinzahler, 14 January 2002

... Another season comes to a close. Sunflowers nod, the mallards grow restive and hoarfrost sparkles on the lawns well into morning. After some discussion, the badminton nets finally come down. For one last time the cleaning ladies strip off the bedclothes of the week’s guest artist and do what they can with the wine stains. – Jerk, they say to themselves, village girls with almost no experience of art ...

30 Rue Duluth

August Kleinzahler, 1 June 2016

...  Elvis is dead, the radio said, where it sat behind a fresh baked loaf of bread and broken link of kobasc fetched only lately from Boucherie Hongroise: Still Life without Blue Pitcher. I read that piece of meat as if I were Chaim Soutine, with its capillaries and tiny kernels of fat, bound up in its burnt sienna casing. There and then the motif came to me that would anchor my early masterwork, Opus 113 ...

Lo Mein

August Kleinzahler, 15 December 2011

... You were still only a child, I, 19, the age of your eldest boy now. It was the evening of the Marijuana Caper your eyes first met mine at the China Chalet. I believe it would have been spring, early, but days clearly lengthening, a patch of ice maybe here or there, pussy willow catkins … We nearly bought it twice that evening, my father swerving left and right, Mother, beside him, silent, stiff with fright ...

The Hotel Oneira

August Kleinzahler, 22 March 2012

... That was heavy freight moved through last night, and has been moving through since I’m back, settled in again by the Hudson at the Hotel Oneira: maps on the walls, shelves of blue and white Pelicans, multiple editions of the one epistolary novel by K., the curios – my sediment, you might say, my spattle trail. Look at them down there by the ferry slip, the bridal party, organza, chiffon and lace, beside themselves, being wonderful, desperately wonderful, a pastel foam ...

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