Spring 1990, Volume 7.1
Poetry

HOWARD McCORD

Armatures

There is a weapon
goes out on a wire
and tells you
everything about the dark.
There is a device
which kisses lips
you kiss
and tells you
why,
corroborates the blue
of eyes,
the range of lies.
There is an animal
that lives inside
a skin
like yours
(but is not you)
whose face is stark
as an old statue's–
a statue with a marble
heart.
Emergency
The moon has hatched,
and from the broken shell
a dark velocity hurls
itself at us.
Star-sheen glints
off talon and beak.
Twinned comets
stare.
We need each witch
we ever burned
and charms we did
not learn.
I can say: "How
get an elf out
of a closet," "make
butter sweet from old
milk," and "woman open
her thighs."
But this howl in descent
heeds not the Pope's
prayers, or the frenzied
smiles of nihilists.
Its gullet is darker
than the caves we seek,
or old Romantic scores
it most resembles.
Wagner's dream I call
it while I may,
Nietzsche's maddened
shit, a pogrom
of the entire air.

Nachtmusik

The dark of the forest
is demon itself
no light more
than from a corpse
which lies there
in a low gleam
all
its own.
What stirs in
the brush, what
sound tickles
the edge of the ear?
Not a snake, no
not an eater of flesh
dead or quick
but the dark
restless.
Sound like a thread
drawn over
the throat.