you are in the diode archives winter 2011



from Supplice

Life long 14 minute day
that is the kernel—
falling near noon
into supplice
sans aveu
of a 24 hour
dive in a Lethe
that is not a river but a word
impossible to recall
by the time the digital
clock reads 10,
all the PM hours of all
time crowded into one zero
in an unlit corner of the present tense.


from Supplice

Ship of December
docked at the dwarf star
in her iris. MCMXLV
formations of bombers. V
flying south to mate
fire with fire. Did he say,
can we reconcile?
the sexual tear with the ember.
She smiled, and the new year
screamed from the sky,
and the docked ship went down
to her benthic zone
to become a home
for extremophiles.


White Sands

A man built a watch.
His children were quiet.
A man built a chain reaction.
                                             The quiet,
blown open: gate to the room
of his thousand suns, our father,
lost in a continued fraction,
                                           burst at once into the sky,
incising mathematically into
the solid white dark of the sound
as it travels: he paces toward counterfeit dawn
on the burning, intestinal path
that, if drawn from the—room,
would extend to the end
of the desert—wound,
would empty him of a dark white fact.


Liquid Battery

The battery is set to charge: positive
Disaster has come to the magnesium and negative antimony gate
of Jerusalem. Daughters of Zion, ions
dissolved in electrolyte. Electric
shave your heads! Into the valley,
current streams into the cell.
Magnesium stones pour. Howling
like the ions in electrolyte accrue
electrons jackals, like wax
before the fire, become magnesium
metal, which joins that which has reached the very gate
of the molten magnesium electrode.
Concurrently, my people,
protection is taken from you. antimony
ions give electrons up to form
Transgressions of Israel, they are found
in metal atoms at the opposite
electrode. you, who make yourselves
as Metal forms; electrolyte diminishes;
bald as the vulture. I will go stripped
and electrodes propagate. To discharge,
the process naked, wailing
like the dragon. is reversed: metal
atoms again become ions.  


T. Zachary Cotler is author or House with a Dark Sky Roof (Salt, 2011). His poems have appeared recently in Poetry, Paris Review, Republic of Letters, and other magazines. He has work forthcoming in Narrative and Hayden’s Ferry Review. In 2006, he was awarded the Amy Clampitt Fellowship by the late poet’s estate. He is a founding editor of The Winter Anthology, www.winteranthology.com.