poem index


John Kinsella

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John Kinsella is the author of Firebreaks (W. W. Norton, 2016).

by this poet

I didn’t connect regardless
how much I participated, it’s a vocab thing
though not to do with skills of expression;
                                        ejecting bullets
from the breech, freezing whole carcasses
of home-slaughtered sheep, the contradictions
roll the same roads, and families
still come to
The iron roof has expanded so much, corrugations
slide into each other. The wavering is not mirage—
no mirage could sustain this long, last through
such unreadable heat. In our endgame, we can
at least hope for stalemate. To take such seriousness
and game play,

Mum sent me a photo
of a sign near Jam Tree Gully
that’s been peppered by
shotgun pellets. It’s become
a recurring image in poems
written in separation,
but tuned to zeitgeist.
But what I’ve not drawn
out of sublingual and tangled
syntax of observation