Spring 2004 • Vol. XXVI No. 2 Poetry |

Bright Lights of January

An oak branch chewed down to the meat and the window of a car grumbling over gravel toward groceries and the news are midmorning'sbright lights of January. The brittle leaves pool in depressions, tar and caulking constrict and wood smoke falls from the roofs. These are the fallow days when opera retreats backstage in costumes and scenery between seasons. The cafe trade is thin. Into this resonant cavity there comes a cable singing of tropical seasons where the fish run to be hooked and spring at the creel while elsewhere the intolerable poverty continues fresh and refreshed on a home monitor the other side of need. The missionaries killed for religious reasons keep going for religious reasons, and their names too are etched in downloads and town memorials with all the other walls of names. The news arrives with the groceries, where the one-eyed man may be king but the gods are blind.

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Marvin Bell, retired from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, teaches for the low-residency M.F.A. program based at Pacific University in Oregon. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Iowa City, Iowa, and Port Townsend, Washington. Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems appeared in 2011 and After the Fact: Scripts & Postscripts (a collaboration with Christopher Merrill) will be released in 2016.

Read More

Art Shoes

By Marvin Bell

An oak branch chewed down to the meat and the window of a car grumbling over gravel toward groceries and the news are midmorning'sbright lights of January. The brittle leaves […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.