Proem, from Bonjour Buffalo, a Romance (1964)
by Michael Anania

three birds, sparrows
twist and turn
beneath a banking

Tri-Pacer, against
a slate of gray sky:
bonjour Buffalo,

it is a winter’s romance,
full of snow and ice,
street salt and cinders.

He wakes on Crystal Beach,
his eyes filled with snow,
snow drifts sighing winter

in his ears, stands in his
own snow-shadow under
the white lattice work

of the roller-coaster.
I am akin to light,
he says, blinking

into the crystal glare,
and water, a blue
defraction, sudden as sky

enameled on French
heraldic silver, a scene —
destrier, aller au feu, quickly

sets forth in his own
wonder, snow-crowned
and mantled. Says,

sword-bridge, sword’s
edge and bright company
aswirl. Says, drift is my

fealty, determined as
branching hexagonal
crystal coarsings cast

here and there, chance
reconciled briefly in
lamplight, circle spun,

one order recalling
chaos, pax vobiscum.
The bridge behind him,

the river’s dark luster
gulping in snow and light,
ahead, heel skid, pitch-

pipe tire spun out, neon’s
frayed red line, electric blue
veins and transformers humming


Once Known

i.
rests in the space between
treeforms, the sensible landscape,
not quite at hand drifts along
this slant of October light

ii.
“just a moment,” voices, the lilt
of remembered music, dancing,
a skirt out at the hem, blouse
cut from a surplus parachute

iii.
is it particle or form, the shape
leaning, as though into a cold
wind, its shadow pulled along,
leaf and leafmold stirring

iv.
Margaret Whiting, perhaps,
kitchen chairs out in the yard,
moon impossibly large, sky
resting in someone’s raised fingers

v.
“a sudden chill,” she said, rubbing
her arms, leaf rustle, a breath
drawn in between words, “I mean,
after all,” as though somehow imagined

vi.
the year tilts into separations, one
leaf after another, the you
in the song, the guise of love,
night’s knave, alas, goodbye

vii.
heartsick, though the small tart
apple snaps against her teeth
and the oranging moon grows
inexplicably warm on her cheeks

viii.
as deft as twilight, how it smudges
the undersides of things, the day,
its season turning, the radio gone
on to another predictable, sad song


Issue Five

Editorial: Sulfir R.I.P.

Sulfur & After

Geraldine McKenzie

Michael Anania

C.S. Giscombe

John Latta

Susan Sink

D.C. Berry

Reviews of: C. S. Giscombe

Reviews of: John Matthias

And: The Word From Russia



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