The Austerity Principle
A bugle, absurd but traditional, and
we’re up and being counted, then
marched some distance from our ragged tents
to form a ragged line. He reviews,
and I’ve no idea how
he does it – for one guy a
joke at the expense
of everything, for another
insults, for me the appearance
of reason; but we’re all, for the moment, primed.
Behind him are tree stumps, towns that are
no longer even places,
dead earth. Yet the line
of horizons and hills makes me think
This was a pretty country, I should have come here
before or instead of
Two years in a cult leave
him tentative. People
say he should be proud:
he got out. He isn’t.
Only a little slow to fun
or anger, his main concern
whether his boss is
Married, divorced. A daughter
marries a cult of one.
Eventually he stops phoning; wonders,
Searches his old textbooks.
In What Is Literature? Sartre states
that the usual opening of a story
it says a story is about to happen.
Author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both published by Story Line Press. Has appeared in Hudson Review, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Die Gazette (Munich), The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Representations, Magma (UK), Bateau, Fulcrum, Chiron Review, etc. Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Hamilton Stone Review, Diagram, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire Review, Mudlark, Dead Snakes, etc. Recent Web publications in Occupoetry, Faircloth Review, Camel Saloon, Kalkion, Gap Toothed Madness. Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University.