Spring 2009

Table of Contents - Vol. V, No. 1


Poetry     Interview     Translations     Fiction     Book Reviews

Guy Kettelhack



I want the nineteenth century today –
to whirl the globe of time back, say,
one-hundred-thirty years – 1879’s soft,
careful and precise locutions – a fantasy
and sway to which my mind gives play
when winter light is like it is right now: before
it makes another shy diffusely glowing bow

into the evening – Emily Dickinson, 48,
and Henry James at 35, arrive – appositely
at my desk for ghostly tea, but each quite
quickly takes an interest in the other – not
in me: Henry’s gray and Emily’s dark sherry
eyes inspect their captive prey and prize –
dispassionate, direct – as if they each

were insect specimens; I want to waft
my deftest sweetest clauses for them
into meaning – elegant and filigreed,
but simple as the simplest human breath –
I want the bliss of thinking I might get their
blessing – but they’re too bewildered by
each other to address another being – dusk

slowly swallows both – and I’m back here
one-hundred-thirty years beyond the hush
of their improbable encounter and existence.
Cell phone shocks the air: a friend calls:
have to meet him soon. I trudge into the cold
Manhattan evening: half-moon – whispered
utterance – etched, peculiar as a rune.


© Guy Kettelhack



Poetry     Interview     Translations     Fiction     Book Reviews

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