41 Chapters
Medium 9781885635136

Lives of Odin

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

Who made me is not me
And eating fish
I watch the harbor swell to sea.

On the rich I wish a dozen welts
And a season of unrest
Upon the well-to-do.

Drinking water from the well
I steal the eyes of sleeping giants
And sell them from my pail.

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Medium 9781885635136

Lives of Rot

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

The red optimisms
Come to rest in the grove
Where minions volunteer

Maples as reaction.
Fog and the practice of seeds.
The mud is rich with summons

And Rot (tending to her pleasures)
Dips her fingers in water
Till the water aches

For the chronic swell of rivers
Whose stones are drowned birds,
Their silt-filled beaks singing

The strength of light
From a group of stars the prophets
Carved from constellations.

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Medium 9781885635136

Lives of Furrow

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

My patience is writ
In riddance

In this one page of
A one-page
Letter from loss.

In the pond’s still water
What can I see

In sound? The me is me.

I narrate too much.

My hours are buried
In a furrow named Gone.

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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.

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Medium 9781885635136

Allies

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

Until someone steals my coat
I am the younger brother
of each passenger on the train.

I polish their black shoes
and offer to clean the mirrors in every restroom.

At night I sleep and my siblings
try to see the passing fields
by looking out their windows

but the dark glass only reveals
their own reflections

so they think
if they could lighten their hair, they would.

If they could change their names
they would try that too.

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