poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Line Poem

Caroline Knox

Long jetty, long shell-racked jetty, cracked warped planks.

Beautiful fish, beautiful sea-bass poached with an August tomato, on an ironstone plate.

A snake's slough, a snake's spinal cord, a dry-rot stump.

A twill tape measure, an audiotape cassette unspooled and puckered, shining.

Agate prayer beads, kazoos, whistles, rattles.

A bike-chain and a bungy cord.  A moebius strip and a broccoli elastic.

Split vanilla pod inset with paltry-looking flat oily brown seeds.

Egg-and-dart molding of vitreous fake sandstone.  Contrails, mares' tails, mackerel sky.

From Quaker Guns by Caroline Knox. Copyright © 2008 by Caroline Knox. Used by permission of Wave Books.

From Quaker Guns by Caroline Knox. Copyright © 2008 by Caroline Knox. Used by permission of Wave Books.

Caroline Knox

by this poet

poem
I packed up the books: Under
Milk Wood, Of
Mice and Men, Under
the Window, Under
the Volcano, Up
from Slavery, The Thunder-
ing Herd, Under
the Greenwood Tree, The Over-
Coat, The Changing Light at Sandover,
Under-
world, Out
of Africa, Paris Trout;

and I went over
to the Under-
woods' house over
on
poem
Can you imagine
what is true, that 
smack in the middle
of making The Magic
Flute he interrupted
himself to make
“Ave Verum Corpus,”
world’s most truth-telling
motet (Who made its
text?  Maybe a pope),
then got himself on
track, back to TMF
(all the while dealing
with money worry and
poem
His heart keeps him awake while he's asleep.
He listens to his heart while he falls asleep in bed.
His artificial heart gives him insomnia.
As long as I can hear the sound, I know I'm here.

His heart keeps him alive while he's asleep.
My heart helps me to sleep while I'm alive.
Oh, patient, this Valentine is