Three Poems

by Jeffrey Burghauser (June 2018)

Two Men Sharing a Drink, Josef Herman

Under Low Cliffs
Under low cliffs (damp as trout),
Under the sky (a shark’s fin),
And, careening through the stout
Cups of whiskey halogen,
Cory said he never had
(Regardless if I sat or stood)
Thought my posture at all bad—
Since my diction was so good.

Reality Itself Still
Reality Itself still
Registers as a treason’s
Pain; the body, as an ill-
Organized list of reasons.
Truth. Without it, the most blunt,
Substantial treasures one may
Find are the irrelevant
Rubies of etymology.
The Nurse
The nurse opens the results of my
Metabolic panel. It’s the worst.
Yes, I’m cursed to be a System; I
Would prefer to be a Fact; I’m cursed
That the Cosmos is neither System
Nor Fact. “The Uncertain: What’s known to
The Lord, His minions;”—shall I list them?—
Known to everyone, just not to you.”


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 (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Lehrhaus, New English Review, and Iceview (Iceland).

More by Jeffrey Burghauser.

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