Two Poems by April Bernard

BOMB 8 Winter 1983
008 Winter Spring 1985

Prayer for the Eighth Station of the Cross

The cough like oysters in the throat, the light from

the lamp oyster white
“my business is to discover what makes for the in-
tellectual impulse”
dear God and all that time with me here thinking
you were an ordinary guy

She had eaten lunch with the fourth unsung hero
of our generation this week
an understandable fatigue was the result
when the water is brown the only civilized thing is
to make tea

Since the biographer will be here any minute you’d
better tidy up
things said with the ring of truth rarely have it
get all the best people and mistrust them

The meaning of consecutive and sustained had
made a sustained disappearance
every office has a trap door slightly to one side of
where you’re standing
the hand on the throat like a fever, like an airgun,
like a fork

Patricia Tobacco Forrester

Patricia Tobacco Forrester, Beech Trees in a Stormy Sky, 1983, watercolor on paper, four panels, 103 × 160 inches. Courtesy of Kornblee Gallery.

Gases

Systems flash their way to metal lips
in a parody of language, the absence
of curiosity or will.
Small projects to avoid action: lose five
pounds by Thanksgiving. Buy a leather jacket.
Read the Apocrypha.
You must be joking.
The necrophiliac’s wife sat in the porcelain tub
while the maid added ice cubes to the water.
Now she’s in a coma, “doing” death;
action is when the body rolls from the sheets
and falls like tears do, from gravity.

Four Poems by April Bernard
​Shirley Kaneda 01
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Originally published in

BOMB 8, Winter 1983

Edouard Roditi by Bradford Morrow, Taylor Meade, art by Elizabeth Murray, Ellen Phelan, Keith Sonnier, Mary Heilmann, Pat Steir, Malcolm Morley, and more.

Read the issue
008 Winter Spring 1985