February 2002

Curtis Bauer


Curtis Bauer lives in Iowa City. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, The North American Review, RUNES, 7 Carmine, and others.
In High Demand

I led a blind man astray this morning,
Took him to the middle of an open field
Then drove away.
I took candy from a child
Then pushed him into a puddle.
I took change from a fat panhandler
Then told the police to arrest her for loitering.

Tomorrow Iíll give a stranger the wrong directions.
I wonít leave a tip after lunch.
Iíll misguide your children
And tell them to lie to the priest.
If there is anything else to do
You can count on me.
These are troubled times.



In Observance of the Sabbath

Sweat beads
On the bankerís balding head.
Wind overwhelms the miner
Watching ice melt in his cup.
Dull words fascinate
The child learning to read.
Branches emptyóno sound of leaves
Scraping the airóabove the idle garden.
In a city with stained towers,
The cemeteries reach
Their quota. Moss blights the scattered
Stones beneath the City Hall.
A dog drags her leash through weeds
In the park. In the closed library,
Vacant hours do nothing
To stop the general from signing his name.

ófor Jon Wei



Curtis Bauer: Poetry
Copyright © 2002 The Cortland Review Issue 19The Cortland Review