Winter 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 1 Poetry |

Striking the Copper Bowl to Imitate the Singing Dragon

For Charles Wright All evening the dark bleeds through: A shiver of loosestrife, Amethyst, then gray,   Rice-paper ink-washed, An octopus spilled and tumbled From its nether-lair,   Then overexposed, white, The drought haze backlit, Graphic with heat lightning.   Green-scaled, rare, awful, the song of the dragon Is an anvil's bell,   A hammerblow—a cold toll, Rain-tempered, A song followed always by rain,   But nothing falls. Except stars—leached salt, Bonemeal through a sieve,   Faint sparks imminent And scattered. And the well   And the reservoirs empty. And such a fire feral And immeasurable.

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Eric Pankey is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently Not Yet Transfigured (Orison Books, 2021). A chapbook called The Future Perfect: A Fugue is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Pankey is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.

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By Eric Pankey

For Charles Wright All evening the dark bleeds through: A shiver of loosestrife, Amethyst, then gray,   Rice-paper ink-washed, An octopus spilled and tumbled From its nether-lair,   Then overexposed, […]

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