Two Poems

by Mark Young

Les Bombardiers de Capricornia

3.18 p.m., & I am
watching John Travolta
solve murders in
the Guatemalan jungle
when the first jet
appears. North to
south down the
floodplain, over
the airport, a practice
bombing run & then
swing inland. & then, a
minute later, the next,
& then the next
a minute later, & then
another. Their roar
connects them; they
are one beast. Peace-
time in a place
for war games. Not
altogether unexpected.
Still frightening. I recover,
& then they come again,
six minutes later, the
same precision but
must be a smaller arc
for in four minutes they
are back once more, even
before the residual noise
can disappear. Too
much soundtrack. I change
channels, switch to
Sesame Street. It seems
to work. A commercial
plane flies in, as
quiet as a rowboat.

Smile, you’re on candide chimera

The teeth keep
growing & need
to be ground
down. Otherwise
there can be no

incision. It is
an autonomic
response, macro-
molar, sometimes
performed as a

short orchestral
piece, comically
complicated by
confusions in i-
dentification. Most

often to be found
adorning the walls
of the Salon des
Refusés, along
with the other

fragments of color
juxtaposed on the
canvas rather than
mixed on the palate.


Mark Young is the editor of Otoliths, lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, & has been publishing poetry for more than fifty-five years. His work has been widely anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages. He is the author of over thirty books, primarily poetry but also including speculative fiction & art history. A new collection of poems, Bandicoot habitat, is due out from gradient books of Finland later this year.

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