View from Outside

David Keplinger
He didn’t want the EKG. He didn’t want
To know. But the nurse attached
Its greasy patches to his chest to read.
From which all things spray violent
And out, there is a point of singularity.
In Michelangelo’s sculpture of the heart,
For instance, the heart wears the costume
Of David’s body. In the eyes of the Judean
There is no fear of what the heart has made.
You are going into cardiac arrest, this nurse said.
That’s when he saw the thing the other way:
Something mute sat like a stone
Inside the clenching and unclenching of his heart.
He had the stone. Only it would pay attention.

From The Clearing by David Keplinger. Copyright © by David Keplinger. Reprinted with the permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose, Kalamazoo, Michigan. All rights reserved.

From The Clearing by David Keplinger. Copyright © by David Keplinger. Reprinted with the permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose, Kalamazoo, Michigan. All rights reserved.

David Keplinger

by this poet

poem

Lincoln, leaving Springfield, 1861,
         boards a train with a salute: but it is weak.
To correct it, he slides his hand away
         from his face as if waving, as if brushing
the snows of childhood from his eyes.

The train is coming east. In the window
         Lincoln

poem

                —David Abram
 

Like an enormous leech the pancreas lies with its head tucked into the duodenum, upside down, the tail outstretched over it, an animal curled in on itself. In the preserve jar of the belly, it wriggles like a strange,