Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal


Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal


Article excerpt


An old man stands alone in Xanadu.

All attempts at action access only

a series of receding images

in a closely packed chamber of mirrors.

Likeness on likeness, smaller and smaller,

echoing into a measureless cave.

The emptiness of this plenitude framed

in fragility, repeating itself

like the mercilessness of memory.


Slap your hand hard on bulwarked basalt banks

topped today with tents of many colours

where soft faux beaches front lapping waters

and glimpse with Pierre the truth of privilege.

The stone of any city is as cold

and unforgiving as that of Paris.

We could find ourselves tomorrow by chance

wandering into a lost scene from Godot

to tramp deaf streets and descend to the Seine.


'You eat like a bird', adds mystery to threat.

A carrion crow, as on your shoulder,

or a raven with fingered wings rolling

on its back before landing by road-kill? …

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