Spring 2008 • Vol. XXX No. 2 Poetry |

Gallows Portraits

I keep seeing Mussolini in his tight,                 pine coffin, shirtless on cedar shavings. One eye opened. Swollen face pancaked, his mouth a singed lipless stretch—                 a kind of cartoon, a kind of hate doll. Flaubert wrote: Hatred of the bourgeois is the beginning of virtue. An interviewer asks the American author of ultraviolencewhy we laugh at affliction.            Perhaps it's because that thing that sits with us at breakfast—               that eland—and looks back at us from the bathroom mirror, sleeping                 even in our coat pockets, that thing intimate and unfamiliar, a someone unknown        whom we will enter or be entered by, is, finally.   The miniature American flag waves from the blue, snow-stranded Bronco's antenna. Mussolini and his group were hung      

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.
Adam Day is the author of Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and is the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, a PEN Emerging Writers Award, and an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, the Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, Lana Turner, the Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He coordinates the Baltic Writing Residency in Latvia, Scotland, and the Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest.

Read More

A Family Romance

By Adam Day

I keep seeing Mussolini in his tight,                 pine coffin, shirtless on cedar shavings. One eye opened. Swollen face pancaked, his mouth a singed lipless stretch—                 a kind of cartoon, a […]

Aubade

By Adam Day

I keep seeing Mussolini in his tight,                 pine coffin, shirtless on cedar shavings. One eye opened. Swollen face pancaked, his mouth a singed lipless stretch—                 a kind of cartoon, a […]

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.