Six poems

by Michael Prihoda


at every solstice

proceeding eighty miles northwest,
you reach the merchants at equinox.

the boat of ginger and cotton
will hold the unloaded journey.

what drives men to deserts,
the exchange of wares,

the bazaars scattered in shades of reduction?
you do not market wolves, battles.

and the summoning will become
another wolf, a different battle,

at every solstice,
at every equinox.

white hands

newly ignorant of languages,
the connection between

the story and the emperor:
a quiver, an abundance, an hourglass.

what enhanced, or inarticulate void?
the descriptions had virtue:

you could wander the cool air
or run off as words to replace nouns,

then metaphors. the foreigner, the
emperor, the language of the foreigner.

you said communication was less
useful in evening.

so, after fundamental, oblique,
spasmodic dialogue, the white hands,

heavy with answered vocabulary,
renewed mute comment,

diminished conversations,
remained immobile.

imaginable elements

cities resembled one another,
as if passage involved elements.

after dismantling, begin by asking
about stairs, wonders: a glass cathedral.

the swimming of auguries, the wind
a horseshoe, a marble wandering.

“this is precisely when you

“i repeat the imaginable

dreams reverse fear. “i have
neither desire nor dreams.”

“cities are the work of
chance. you delight not

in wonders, but in the answer
to a question.”

they saw night

the city exposed
about its

they saw night
long hair,

dreamed of
laying walls

where is the window?

of all garden hedges,
the suicides cheated justice.

question the alphabets,
the remote adolescent

glued to opium.
where is the window?


signs free
the images
in language.

the beautiful,
the naked.

when stimulus
is sought
in cemeteries,

the chords
answer the ship.
no language. deceit.


Michael Prihoda is a poet.

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