41 Chapters
Medium 9781885635136

I Pack Her Suitcase with Sticks, Light the Tinder, and Shut the Lid

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

She used to sit on the forest-floor
and I would cut her hair until it piled up
onto the ground, like ash.

Tonight, her name is a leaf covering
my left eye. The right I close
for the wind to stitch shut with thread

from the dress she wore into the grave
where the determined roots of the tree
are making a braid around her body.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781885635136

Lives of Morandi

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

The color of midnight
Reveals its secrets
As he sews together
His own feet with strands of fiber

Pulled from a canvas
The colors of paint
Have stretched beyond his reach.
With a hammer

He drives a nail into an apple
Which splits
Into a thousand horse-hair narratives.
The forty-acre fields steal water

From the river
Where he washes his shirts
Which he later comes to curse

For bleeding a little crimson
Into his sister’s white gowns.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781885635136

Lives of Animal

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

Stab the night with a shank—
The prettiest metal

Dripping stars. In the body
Cavities of the animals

Arrange a thousand lit candles.

Blink once, then shut your eyes

To see the slaughter.
Custody is in the air. Blink twice

To feel the frost
Sharpen winter’s shears
For the smoke of flesh

Its profit and umber ruin.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781885635136

Lives of Method

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

Day following day
And the contents add up.

These it is
That clash—then widen

The field of questions—

That which law
And spirit leaven.

Speak the world in multitudes
And stay in it.

Would that every loss
Reveal its science.

That every prayer
Conceal its source.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781885635136

Economy of Winter

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

They might have been olives or grapes
or opulent rows of each, spilling over
the penciled border beneath four or five
cerulean strokes; cumulus loosened
from the sea-dark sky, suffocated

where the paper is wavy
from where you must have paused
to imagine the burdens of composing
within which a drought is composed;
some need within the image itself;

as the tree from which the paper was fashioned
required water, as did the fields
from which the family was fed—

though never enough—when the sun was low
over the house divided
by the single telephone pole,
its endless distance from these dying fields.

Some might say it is the image of a house.
But the house is the image of the tragedies within it.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters