Jeffrey Skinner

Four From Delos
April 24, 2022 Skinner Jeffrey

Four From Delos





Saw the ring of her
Future just before
It flew to her finger.
Then the real began.


There were acrobats
Juggling children
In the kitchen,
And words that fell


To the fire like soot.
She cared for them,
She wrote them
Down, she mothered.






In his Paris Review
Berryman intrudes
As self-editor—


After many
Answers he adds
In parenthesis: Delusion.
It was annoying


To me when I read
It, hip fanboy
That I was.  But
Now, now I get it.






Where she was
A witch she was not
And how visibly
A noun would play


A better verb
Ernest, she’d say
Round up the round
Nouns I’ll help


Cut once, but
Once only
And everyone think
You the writer






What you need is
A good defense and
A good offense—
That’s all you lack.


Pauses make gaps
Of terrible intent—
Hot breath on your face.
Cheap rooms, coin


Operated gas,
Mold you can smell
On walls.  A cry
Buried under words.






Jesus thrown everything
Off balance.  Peacocks
Nasty, untamable,
Strutting emeralds for sex.


Maybe Jesus didn’t
Raise the dead.  Sew dress
And underwear for
Pet duck, bring to school.


The stinking
Mad shadow of Jesus.
Solitary, genius, comatose
Dead at thirty-eight.

Jeffrey Skinner‘s new book of poems, Sober Ghost, will be out in May of 2024.   Other of his work appears most recently in Volt and Action, Spectacle.