May 2000

Michael Burkard


Michael Burkard Michael Burkard has published three books of poetry: Entire Dilemma (Sarabande Books, 1998), My Secret Boat (Norton, 1990), and The Fires They Kept (Metro Book Company, 1986). Among other publications, his work has  appeared in Paris Review, APR, Epoch, Denver Quarterly, Exquisite Corpse, Central Park, Salt Hill Journal, Volt, Plum Review, and Zone 3. He currently teaches at Syracuse University.

Told Some Realisms And Truisms    Click to hear in real audio

It isn't time for the house to fall
but it falls anyway. The man drinks
too much and drives through the garage
and onto the porch, the woman gives
notice and walks slowly now toward a
lone tree near the Americana baseball
field at the block's end. At day's 
end she is sitting there, herself and
as a friend once said while reading
Isaac Babel under lamplight upon another
porch in another American city "beside
herself." Wondering about being beside
herself, being, being short, and still 
another woman who said "I was told some
realisms and truisms and I am going to
tell you some. But first I will listen
and let you talk." She starts to talk
now, after all these dreamed endings,
and will drive she decides to the city
where old friends still read Isaac Babel
stories in less than the best light,
where subjects strike your life too quickly,
but from stories more often than a fist
or car in life. Isaac Babel's glasses, 
somewhere in his disappearance and murder. 
Isaac Babel's glasses making realisms
and truisms into another and other's lives.




Michael Burkard: Poetry
Copyright � 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 11The Cortland Review