poem index

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

About this poet

Art Zilleruelo received an MFA from Wichita State University and a PhD from Northeastern University. He is the author of The Last Map (Unsolicited Press, 2017) and Weird Vocation (Kattywompus Press, 2015).

Ghost Story

In a field near the lake
stands the ghost of a dead oak.
The ghost is black and very tall.
It never speaks or moves.
The sky wants to take it.
The earth wants to eat it.
But the ghost is strong, it does not want to move.
So it argues half its tongues into the dirt,
and grips hard against the sky’s glutton lung.
It whispers the other half into air,
and weathers the white earth’s thirst.
Like a frayed black suture it binds earth and sky together.
In this way the ghost stills its universe:
the sky can never rise nor the earth fall
out of their coupling’s grave jurisdiction.
The lake will breathe its atoms to the clouds.
The constellations will pageant
the lucky patterns of their composition
until they break and fade.
But the ghost will stand
contented with the silence.
With the snowfall.
With the stalemate of its own device.

From The Last Map (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Art Zilleruelo. Used with the permission of the author.

From The Last Map (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Art Zilleruelo. Used with the permission of the author.

Art Zilleruelo

Art Zilleruelo is the author of The Last Map (Unsolicited Press, 2017).

by this poet

poem

No family. Anything but that
distributed wave of same
blood, different bodies.

No friends. Let them find some other
pretext for hauling out the secret ledger,
for declaring one of their own
eliminated by the math.

Only our lawyer,
tramping through a field
with a napkin

poem
Ten planes exhaled contrails,
painting someone’s property lines
across a sky we thought was ours.

The sun surfaced,
and a checkerboard shadow
carved the city into hundredths
before the lattice loosened
and masked itself as clouds.

Now we walk divided, with memory
imposed upon the moment,
rays wandering a graph
poem

There is a hook that lives
in me, and any hand may tie
its line to the eye,
to reel me where it will,
to cast me out
in counterfeits of flight,
to tease a world of mouths
with intimations of a meal.

And I have learned through long repeat
the grammar of gravity,
the