Summer 2004 • Vol. XXVI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2004 |

Gospel Disinclined

The baritones and tenors simply will not sing. My Wurlitzer's mistakes of hand sound very loud. Their heads lean either down (but are not bowed) or back (but not in ecstasy of gaze upon the Lord). The sky's rise wavers dusk before the evening food. (Something about that semi-light distracts: Is it rays off lemons blunted, mulled? Ascent of walnut smoke? Dried duffels of purple grapes? Seedpods rattling on a catalpa tree? Sky candlelight?) Now won't their senses sing to them? The mission heavens lighten one degree with corner lamps. Someplace—a ceilinged sermon—to faint into, to live cut out for. Is each man a solo, solitary? Or surrounded by a season's end of the sloppiest best-of-friends? Who'll dare to mouth a hymn? Forgive— my favorite key's D flat. By devotion of a sexton the garden sleeping grounds pacify, embraced by vines and trees. Earth, our deluxe van, keeps its route around the sun. Urine runs. One brother dawns or pales. I play by ear for all the stumbling voices s

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Sandra McPherson is the author of twenty books and is retired from teaching at the University of California at Davis. Her twenty-first book, Quicksilver, Cougars, and Quartz, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry Press. Recent poems appeared in TriQuarterly, Poetry, Plume, Iowa Review, Crazyhorse, and Ploughshares. She founded Swan Scythe Press.

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Peace Sign

By Sandra McPherson

The baritones and tenors simply will not sing. My Wurlitzer's mistakes of hand sound very loud. Their heads lean either down (but are not bowed) or back (but not in […]

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