Joshua Marie Wilkinson

a brief history of

collects on
what the eye brings

down what animals
sleep under

in the vacancy sign

meadow’s bog

a bed as a rampart
no more

rained-up unburied travelers

cutting down night

with their shoes
& socks & stockings & noise

stockyard & upholsterers’ moon

waxy windows eave
crows a button
to button up

lightning stuck
in the pond
to throw a bit of dark all over us

& you know
where to find

here in the signature made
small spilled into shadow

no telling the corollary of an affair

so then the moon
drifting way too
close gets leaky

going through treeline when
a voice in the radio accidentally
says your name

how lying
might ferry us through several parts
of the month

a little
blood on the underside
of a toilet seat

we go dark
into the fellow’s letter this kitchen
window is saying

something so we should learn
to listen with the palms of our hands

fish pulled into the drinking water
sucked into our sinks a glass of it

I talk too long on the message
machine I forget what I really
wanted to say

Max Roach is dead goodbye Max
Roach go softly into the ground or

a dog is stranded on a raft in
flood muck true

its parents long dead

swallows gather up in the air again like

a bushel to pull the cartoon curtains shut

nothing against

us standing out here
waiting with Declan & cigarettes for any bus

make our cupped lanterns
& into traffic while it’s

still wet
caging us off

crooked Dublin we’re
sleeping more
here less

there the staircase has its
avuncular knowledge

the librarian is
so lovely I start tripping & coughing

a diner of cudgeled-up phantoms

night asks for its devils back

about the eyes old sea

goes frothing forth
an opening in the floor of the room a
book in his lap

no school in the floods flood’s
in the school &

hung pumpkins from the basement

you know this game do you

Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of four books, most recently The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth (Tupelo, 2009). He lives in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. He first read Armantrout’s Necromance, Mullen’s Muse & Drudge, and Blaser’s Moth Poem on the front porch of 424 E. 1st Street in Tucson, Arizona.