Patrick Lawler

Light comes out of a hole

Religion is something to explain the hole
that is being dug in the backyard. With holes
in his hands, Jesus is brought into the hospital.
There is a hole inside the Father’s head where the eye fits.
Illness is the body telling us its stories.
“Don’t tell anybody,” Jesus says.



The statues and the train

The statues rise just inches above their stone robes.
We listen to the sermon of trains,
and drag our luggage to the hotel named Is where all the children
are telepathic. The Grandmother isn’t certain from which window
she looks—the window of the living or the moving window of the dead.
On the train we drag a lost language sealed inside our books.



Purveyors of sweetness and temptation

One of the sisters wants to be a witch;
the other wants to be an existentialist.
One is thin like a scratch; the other has cinder eyes.
Life is like juggling matchsticks in a burning house—insignificant
yet dangerous.          Still there is the ice hole in the heart—
the place for the pensive bees—the coveting bees.



Patrick Lawler lives in Syracuse, NY. He is also the author of five collections of poetry. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a National Endowment for the Arts, two New York State Foundation for the Arts grants, and a Saltonstall Artist’s grant. At SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, he teaches Literature of Nature and Environmental Writing courses, and at LeMoyne College he is Writer in Residence where, besides poetry and fiction, he teaches scriptwriting and playwriting.