Fall 2010

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 3


Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

Joe Conard



calcium chips floating on the river
little snowstorms clouding the water
the digging equipment folds out
onto the dock, where many workers wait
little else to do until the great machine finishes.

With a tug, it pulls its hollow arm
from underneath the riverbed
and back into its chilly heart, sated.
“All Aboard” calls the foreman callously
the men descend through the pipes
for another day, held in place by a Titan’s foot of pressure

the safety light roams the surface like a stinger-less bee
no purpose as everyone crawls in early tombs
a local mass grave already erected to their sacrifice.
Below, the gaslight
and the sand, and the penetrating mist rises
with cocky excitement, like nitrogen in the blood
to hit the water, rushing on all sides.

ton by ton, hour by hour, the earth obeys
bringing itself to the surface
reluctant children leaving a party
each cart chaperoned
by a black ghost in a hard hat.

it’s a psychosis that makes men perform miracles
the reckless servitude of the poor and the young
re-shape the earth in dreams
only the lowly tread through hell to make the dreams of others
only the lowly replace themselves with earth on the surface
and forget their face
beneath the water.


© Joe Conard



Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

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