Winter 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2000 |

Antimetrical Lyric of the San Joachin

One syncopation in the clean rhythm of another  enjambed morning, November, 6 A.M.: A switch-engine slows by the depot, and two men  swing off. They walk the strophic walk Of fathers in their early forties who still have pity  on the work of the brake shoe and the piston. The only exegesis they want now  is oatmeal at this diner built in the shadow Of a smokestack capped by methane flame.  I watch the woman at the grill sling hash browns. She cannot forget the nakedness of junkyards  along the highway west of Modesto, The paternal violence of the wrecking ball.  She believes in angels she saw once In the back yard of a tract house in Bakersfield  next to a blocked-up Impala with hellfire Detailed on its fenders. Her memory splinters  the otherworldly prosody of their moaning. But crossing-arms ascend, and the switchmen  open the door. Over eggs, I consider how language Refuses the faultlines that grind between  the dactyl and the trochee, the cries of cherubim

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T. R. Hummer’s tenth book of poems, Ephemeron, was published by LSU Press in November 2011; his second book of essays, Available Surfaces, will appear in University of Michigan Press’s Poets on Poetry Series in 2012. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and teaches at Arizona State University.

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Terrorism

By T. R. Hummer

One syncopation in the clean rhythm of another  enjambed morning, November, 6 A.M.: A switch-engine slows by the depot, and two men  swing off. They walk the strophic walk Of […]

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By T. R. Hummer

One syncopation in the clean rhythm of another  enjambed morning, November, 6 A.M.: A switch-engine slows by the depot, and two men  swing off. They walk the strophic walk Of […]

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