... And for a few dollars found
the Fordham undergrad (much more human
than most) to show me how you lived...

Then home to Baltimore, that nightly flash
of memory: the way closed-off vessels
burst just like national cannon in the child’s
white-hot throat.
                                 The Short History
of Modern Poetry begins, roundabout,
in an unnamed gutter, in missed hints
of a mammoth disorder, drink
for stiff drink. When the moment came, sham
politicians, lovers of money, played
their low roles, then, vanishing, left
the thinning body drowning
where it last fell off, vote after stolen vote.

This may make for the oddest story ever told.
An ocean from that death, my cousin,
your orphan demon swam into common view.

_ The poem is an anagram of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Alone.”

Mike Smith | Mudlark No. 30
Contents | From the Desk of William Carlos Williams