in some Assuming
once been a fiction writer, some think
her poems are lies, with horror and thrill and all.
"It must be some fiction trying to..." they'd jeer.
She smiles then shudder at the imprudence
of it, then with pity, jokes, "Probably you are
right." then shrugs. Nevertheless,
she examines her poetry; sees it as true and
hurried as the impatient dame herself.
only needs to morph more.
"Assume all you might," she whispers them, "but
know that, in doing so, you lose your empathy
and quality of word; what a waste.
"That's how we lost each other, long ago,
on the green hill, on a balmy, dazed day.
what follows: years of tossing at night in doubt."
(c) Byung A. Fallgren
The Mother and Daughter, like lunar eclipse
The daughter who is born writer
doesn't write and tells her mom to write,
like the mom used to tell her. Now,
her mom has become the daughter's youthhood.
She's the daughter is the mom is the daughter...
the mom would do it for the daughter,
like the daughter should've done it for the mom;
they are two in one.
Who would've guessed it?
Not the Earth, nor the moon.
(c) Byung A. Fallgren
from The Dream Songs
John Berryman (1914--1972)
The thunder & the flaw of their great quarrel
abased his pen. He could not likely think.
He took himself out of it,
both wrong & right, beyond well beyond moral,
in the groves of meaningless rage, with ach & stink
unlike old shit
which loses its power almost in an hour,
ours burgeons. When I trained my wives,
I thought now they'd be professional:
they became professional, at once wedlocks went sour
because they couldn't complete with Henry, who sought
The J.P. coughed.
Married life is a boat
forever dubious, with the bilge stale.
there's no getting out of that.
Gong & lightening crowd my returned threat,
I always wept at parade: I knew I'd fail:
Henry wandered back on stage& sat.
John Berryman was born John Smith in McAlister,
Oklahoma, was a teacher and scholar at Brown, Princeton,
and the University of Minnesota. Received the Pulitzer Prize
in 1965 and National Book Award in 1969.
Lines Written During my Second Pandemic
All water flows toward loneliness.
Loneliness is a black eye, a gleaming pit,
we have yet to split loneliness like an atom.
Loneliness arrives on a leash of scorpions.
In my scull, loneliness opens like a parachute.
It's illegal to chain loneliness to a fence.
Flickers tunnel though loneliness to build nests
I sprinkle a spoon of sugar over loneliness.
In some languages, loneliness is imperfect.
Antlers crown the bald head of loneliness.
Like rough trade, loneliness won it kiss you.
Loneliness crouched in a tree afraid of dirt.
In the dark, loneness ripens too quickly.
Beneath the roof of loneliness, my blood drifts.
Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants, the author of
Guillotine (Gray wolf Press, 2020), his work has been supported
by fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and the
Lannan Foundation. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Lesson on the Trail
The brilliant red leaves of the shrub
shrugs off the snow, like a stubborn child
of Mother tucks it under the blanket.
the lodge pall pines in the white coat
toss the snows at the passerby, as if warning.
Feeling it, I turn my head but see none,
not even him; move along the trail, indulging in
the peace. yet hear a sound in the no sound,
feel an eye in the no eye zone.
there, it groans; I turn back and meet it.
the mountain lion on the boulder on the slope,
hungry, fierce eyes. I froze, then slowly
pick up the big stick, mistake. It jumps off
the boulder and slinks toward me.
toward...the hare playing a statue.
I run to the car, inside it, I see
the beast chases the hare into the
dense woods that whisper,
whatever it is, I only wish for
the hare home safe. and so, do I.
(c)Byung A. Fallgren