February 2003

Mark Neely


Mark Neely Mark Neely's poems have been or will be published in Great River Review, New Orleans Review, Third Coast, Atlanta Review and others. He teaches at Ball State University.
Alphabet of Longing    Click to hear in real audio

Alright, but caresses

don't ease.

For grindstone hands I'll...

Just kidding.

Love more, nearest,

only people

quit rehearsing.

Steady the urn

violently wanted x.

Your zetetic.



Poem Thrown to the Fire in Disgust    Click to hear in real audio

Paper bags drift up into awkward birds
and fly across the lot, an empty neighborhood
of grass.  The blades blow back,
exposing their paler sides.

The scientist might say
we should shovel the whole scene
into a glass aquarium.  The soldier
might say fuck it, and blow it all away.

What I might say doesn't come to mind,
and hasn't since that awful,
common occurrence:
leaving, unwilling, "still in love,"

at the end of the grass
where poetry turns
into criticism.
I could be dead.

It would explain some things
if I were floating above an accident,
watching paramedics
tape my head to a stretcher.

If some collision could be called up
to justify the loss of peripheral vision,
movement, the person she called I and I called she,
to explain the tyranny of birds in a field.



Mark Neely: Poetry
Copyright 2003 The Cortland Review Issue 22The Cortland Review