Ann Arbor Review: International Journal of Poetry

Issue Number 9
Summer 2011

Ann Arbor Review

Southeastern Florida                                                                                                                 Ann Arbor Review


Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Jumoke Verissimo
Las Slomovits
Richard Kurtz
Lyn Lifshin
Duane Locke
Serena Wilcox
Jerry Blanton
Dami Ajayi
Odimegwu Onwumere
Joanie Freeman
Dike Okoro
Amit Parmessur
Paul B. Roth
Divya Rajan
Kim Keith
Fred Wolven
C. Derick Vann
Al Ortolani
Steve Barfield
Jim Davis
Chris Lord
Jennifer Burd
Will Swanson
Isabel Kestner

Lisa Schmidt
Running Cub
Tolu Ogunlesi


Ann Arbor Review

is an independent

International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2011 Fred Wolven
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / Southeastern Florida


Fred Wolven, editor

Submissions via e-mail:



So, that's it.
You've got a Paul Klee complex.

Spinning primordial paints
with centrifugal force
against a cardboard target
stapled to a magical potter's wheel
at the South Florida County Fair,

Spinning paints with reptilian frenzy.

Then spinning them into a kind of
middle-aged malaise.

But you couldn't possibly have known about malaise,
or could you, at such a pampered,
isolated age?

Spinning paints: dirty, Gila monster orange,
primal whites, bruised oboes,
and greenyellowred branches into a dizzying mosaic
barely bright enough to distract you
from the rituals of Machu Piccu,
or Stonehenge,
depending upon your impetuous moods.

There it is, again.
I'm telling you, you've got a Paul Klee complex.

Now all you need to do is hold out long enough
for the next world famous, cocaine-addicted psychiatrist
to dissect all the festering, solipsistic abstractions
from your darkest emotions.


When Shelley says, "before unapprehended relations
of things," he's saying that we have a before, during,
and after sensibility, in all probability.  Those who lobby
the primordial present...well, that simply isn't true.

Shelley merely reminds us that there are those moments
just before, as well as moments during the actual experience
of things, although we don't always know the things,
or the relations of things, themselves.

That's a given.  Blake scrubs his eyebrows and mumbles,
"So, how, then, do we even know we exist?"

Hmm.  Does Percy really expand our sensibilities or compress
them between the lazy bookends of conventional time?
The overly celebrated bookends of time?  Quite unlike
Blake's Songs of Experience, I suppose, even if we suspended
our disbelief long enough?

Ah, that's a whole other thing, rearranging our sensibilities
into a Zen-like serenity in order to enjoy simple metaphors.

Yeah, that's the life!  And Percy wrote a few good metaphors
...a few great ones, too: the skylark, Jane's guitar, plus the
afternoon moon bloodied by the thorns of life!

Imagine Percy, Mary, and Lord Byron all tipping their
hand-blown German flutes of French sherry and gossiping
about the universe crawling upon its belly, scale
by glistening scale, grinding Newton's square wheels of time
into a fine dust.


It's kinda like writing an ode
to a World War I hero;
he appreciates the sentiment,
that's a given,
but would've preferred some magical intervention
that didn't include his death
and the horrible deaths of his buddies,
terrified of gas,
ankle-deep in diesel,
German howitzers
pointing straight at them.

It's sort of an honor, after the fact;
don't you think?

You can toss all the confetti you want,
but only so much of it will glitter
like snowstorms inside antique Christmas globes
drifting across neon Times Square
as Dick Clark drops the ball
once again.

These heroes, these hypnotized mercenaries
hunkered down below thundering sermons at Mass,
ask only
for the dignity
allotted to us all,
not screaming bloody nightmares,
while our nobles, millennia-wise by now,
carefully plan their next maneuver.


Alan Britt
, Reisterstown, Maryland


Ann Arbor Review   |   Home    |   next  |  Back to Top