Six Short Poems

By Jeffrey Burghauser (August 2018)

The Distressed Poet, William Hogarth, 1736



Only terror’s heave

Could make the place you thought you

Knew seem tentative,

Untrue. Pound said: Make It New.



Like the Cantos, my

Newborn’s eyes contain

All of History—

But his eyes don’t strain.



Those iambics inked

Thrice within the cell

Of a villanelle

Are not quite the same:


Icing tastes distinct

(Dying wisdom says)

Whenever it is

Used to spell one’s name.


[4] Walter Pater


The Æsthete’s junction:


Of attention, and

Liberality of limb.



Penitents enter

The dreary Fitness Center.

They solicit God’s protection;

Every machine faces the same direction.



Since he didn’t have a son,

Whitman sang to everyone.

Only virtuosi pull

Beauty from the general.

Only the begetters of

Virtuosi master love

For one as for another.

Only God, God the Father,

Can intone to everyone,
Yes, because he has a son.



Jeffrey Burghauser  is an English teacher in Columbus, Ohio. 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 (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Lehrhaus, New English Review, and Iceview (Iceland).

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