Mark Jarman (1952 -)
Everything’s happening on the cusp of tragedy, the tip of comedy,
the pivot of event.
You want a placid life, find another planet. This one is occupied with
the story’s arc:
About to happen, on the verge, horizontal. You want another planet,
try the moon.
Try any of the eight, try Planet X. It’s out there somewhere, black
How interesting will our times become? How much more interesting
can they become?
A crow with something dangling from its beak flaps onto a
telephone pole top, daintily,
And croaks its victory to other crows and tries to keep its
morsel to itself.
A limp shape, leggy, stunned, drops from the black beak’s scissors
like a rag.
We drive past, commenting, and looking upward. A sunny morning,
too cold to be nesting,
Unless that is a nest the crow has seized, against the coming spring.
We’ve been at this historical site before, but not in any history
The present has been cloaked in cloud before, and not on any
To know the stars will one day fly apart so far they can’t be seen
Is almost a relief. For the future flies in one direction—toward us.
And the only way to sidestep it—the only way—is headed
this way, too.
So, look. That woman’s got a child by the hand. She’s dragging him
across the street.
He’s crying and she’s shouting, but we see only dumbshow. Their
breath is smoke.
Will she give in and comfort him? Will he concede at last? We do
Their words are smoke. In a minute they’ll be somewhere
Everyone in a minute will be somewhere else entirely. As the