c h a r l e s     g a b e l



[the plaster trees begin]

[I am the wandering soul, the lover of Beatrice]


the plaster trees begin

and pull up between my muscles

the boozy storm yet ready—spring

in my breath along its buttress

the tenses blink together

smirk away my form

O how my throat splits

in chorus with the dead—

as the dead—as the weather

skirmishes against us

bulging church into the pitch blue

the holy arching of skin



I am the wandering soul, the lover of Beatrice

watch the poem panel out under

rag moon, spittle played through my spleen

letís drive into the desert and die

there we can see water on the road

there we can become folk songs and wilt

as drunken boats saddled into the sand among the birdrot

I am a dead poet lifted by this desert wind

I breathe          the desert breathes back

see my pasture, swollen with beer

to water its plaster trees

I see a grave, its dead leaves

to cover me: sloughed winds

I canít hold them

the moon is never sudden through the water

I see dead winds pull lilt waves

what power is it to hold these? winds

yet dead in the sparrowís lung

pull them out—into the light

let death take these birds

and Iíll harvest whatís left of their song

give it to the dead crutched through me

me through the poet

I want to speak

I want to fall in love again

but some gummy poem

gets stuck in my throat

I fell down in the forest

I felt the grass milk dew from the moon

why canít I?

I am a poet and I will die

to make this forest grow


CHARLES GABEL was born in Cincinnati, and he has since lived in Chicago and (currently) Boise. He is the author of the chapbook Pastoral, out from Strange Machine Books.

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