Two Poems

Curriculum Vitae


I’ll keep the ululating
to a minimum
and wear the warpaint

outside the stadium.
I’ll clutch a Kalashnikov
loaded with cardamom,

and speak in tongues
I can sell as native.
Display my bones

in the natural museum—
I’ll ask you to gas me,
pretend to be plaintive.

Pimp my pride. I promise
I’m noninvasive.
In the middle of light,

I look on the night side.
Ask me what I do,
I’ll say: unoccupied.

I’ll set my nation’s
whole body on fire,
simplify the fractions

of political rhyme.
I’ll skein this skin
to the highest of high wires,

refuse to become
a man of my time.
I’ll lift the veil

off this crowded lift
in which we are silent—
as if guilty in our climb—

and offer this tongue,
this ripped-off gift.



Ode to Silo City


O grain grown
gone as rain

O tract of weed
& crack concrete

silos your eyes
climb & widen

our ears & rove
inchoate echo

quieter the voice
easier to hear

you opposite
of paper press

onto the oppo
site of ink

rise from the rude
& brutalist rust

into the gentle
ghost-grain future

into this rusted
wind-ached throat

open to open
these loud clouds




Philip Metres is the author of Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), Sand Opera (2015), I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (2015), A Concordance of Leaves (2013), To See the Earth (2008) and others. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, six Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Hunt Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Watson Fellowship, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant. He is professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland.








Issue #64 November 2016
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