archives winter 2009



What Next

Speaking of oxygen, it’s everywhere, and thank heavens
all solids are visible, otherwise, abundant concussions.

Abracadabra, here to ________, the walloping sunlight
over debris fields and detention centers, bordellos

and burglar bars as x-d jet streams quadrangle wide, any-
color sky, below which x-number things drift on what

invisible hinges: newsprint unfurling in wind and car
crash imminent (birds in some flowering thicket do flicker),

each driver about to say ______ or _____ on cell phone
at the intersection of ________ and Complete This Sentence.


Flames on a Vessel

“Turns out Uruguay produces a fantastic blueberry.”
         —George W. Bush

Secreted in hollowed-out hardbacks,
mulch of their pages, letters confettied,

packed in space the shape of an “a,”
followed by a “b” and a “c,” etc.,

26 upright repeatedly sequentially
throughout many libraries, ransacked absences dammed,

as in detective novels, each book emptied
but not in the outline of gun or bottle.

Absurd, even obscene, this non-sequitur epigraph
and one-ended metaphor of shredded text

following a title a fiery signal of distress.
With what is a tortured body synonymous

I wonder, warm, reader whose attention drifts, watching
details of a landscape vanish under anonymizing snow.  


Aaron Anstett’s collections are Sustenance, No Accident (Nebraska Book Award and the Balcones Poetry Prize), and Each Place the Body’s. Recent poems appear in Anti-, Court Green, and Many Mountains Moving. He lives in southern Colorado with his wife and children.