By Jeffrey Burghauser (December 2017)
Laundromat 015, Donald Yatomi, 2009
Rereading Theocritus’s best
In a corner of the laundry room
While the darkened snowstorm teases West
Yorkshire with her downward-pointed plume.
Even the cigarettes are asleep.
The quad outside is semikempt. He’d
Turned the page, chest pulsing like a cheap
Springwater bottle being emptied.
The Bucolic has a green distilled.
But his forehead, having come to rise,
Pulses cold while heavy vapors filled
His skull, just behind the eyes.
For this, for this, the Bucolic stance
Was once confected as the response.
Pifferaro, William-Adolphe Bouguereau
After William-Adolphe Bouguereau
From her form a perfect Sabbath laps
Against the bounds that circumarrayed
The girl. A hornpipe or plumwood-made
Flute through which an exhalation rips
Makes the face & neck oblige the lips;
Therefore, give the nymph who fills the glade
Only those supple instruments played
Entirely with the fingertips.
My friend, looking up & taking note
That the evening sky is like a ring
Of murmuring slaveholders, the gates
Are bloodied, and that we die by rote.
Where the sting proposes anything,
Remember her, knowing that she waits.
Jeffrey Burghauser is an English teacher in Columbus, OH. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo, the University of Leeds, and currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have previously appeared in Appalachian Journal and Lehrhaus.
More by Jeffrey Burghauser here.
Please help support New English Review.