Three Poems by Sidney Wade

BOMB 91 Spring 2005
091 Spring 2005 1024X1024

If you say it is, it is

I’ve got the freedom pang.
My kitty’s messin’ with a pencil

and I’m pondering up my multifoliate affairs.
Out of the inebriated fathoms

a dream is reddening. Of prodigious mowing
and bringing in the sheaves.

And shot through that passionate scenery,
the balance of light, all this swaying time,

has been peering through a longitudinal haze.
What you tell me is this:

the universe provides air and a thousand tickets.
Your road may come clicking back

to merge with my hammering heartway.
I can do anything soon.


The Visionary from Apopka

had faith in the largesse of the living
but carried with him
a dozen handmade urns,
just in case.

He had been born
in a church bathroom
and therefore had a practical habit of mind.
He often organized madrigals at sunset.

I’d had a scuffle with a woman
who had monkey written all over her
and needed some compound word-matter
to settle my nerves.

How do hew do? I inquired
and he forgave me and gave me his shoes.
You’re just in time for the squirmfest, friend,
he said. You may also wash your feet.

I didn’t have a forever grant,
but we dealt with that as masterful adults.
We approached the ultimate adding machine
and grabbed us a statue bereft of sin

and some mausoleum gear.
There’s not enough shriek and swagger
in this utterly transgressive faith, he confessed,
but he looked down on the others

in their cold, crawling context.
Those people are injured by the time of day,
he sniffed. As we entered a carnelian cloud,
I suggested we leave early and often.

All’s well that ends in the dirt, he said.


The Body Politic

Are We in a Slump? We Are …

Evil thrives in a variety of plumages;
in protruberant behavior, in brief deceits.

We wander its corridors on the cusp of business,
a mighty fabric over the eyes,

our random darknesses illumined by paraffinalia
and its noncombustible flame,

while the lesser profondeurs blandish and surl
in a controlled burn. It’s all map and no shingle.

It’s wickedness on fire with bodily intent.
Grotesqueries with a huge probability of failure.

An adroit robbing style with a beau regard.
Rotundity and crenellation.

So their trembling emissary is in a royal jam,
says get out the way and lissen

an apparition at the gate will very soon cast a glance
over your sodden company.

Under that cool cloud over there is a fuming trope,
but it’s for the brethren only. And the deputy steppers.

What we are left with is the quantity racket,
muffled illusions and a very great sadness.

We are dazed and in the open,
on our way to the foreghastly conclusion.

—Sidney Wade has published four collections of poems, the most recent of which is Celestial Bodies (LSU Press, 2002). She is the author of Green (University of South Carolina Press, 1998), From Istanbul/Istanbul’dan, poems in translation English/Turkish (Yapi Kredi Yayinlari, Istanbul, 1998) and Empty Sleeves, which won the Contemporary Poetry Series competition of the University of Georgia Press in 1991. Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Poetry, The New Yorker, Grand Street, Paris Review, The New Republic,The Gettysburg Review, and Harper’s, among many others. She has taught at the University of Florida in the Creative Writing Program since 1993.

Contranatura by Sergio Valero

Originally published in

BOMB 91, Spring 2005

Featuring interviews with Constant Nieuwenhuys and Linda Boersma, Julie Mehretu, Alexi Worth, Pearl Abraham and Aryeh Lev Stollman, Robert Antoni and Lawrence Scott, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Jim O’Rourke, Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Coleman, Brad Cloepfil and Stuart Horodner, and Bruce Mau and Kathryn Simon.

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