November 2008

Mark Prudowsky


Ross Gay

C. Wade Bentley This marks an author's first online publication
Bonnie Bolling
Gabriel DeCrease
Pamela Hart
Roger Jones
Robert Lesman This marks an author's first online publication
James B. Nicola
Chad Prevost
Mark Prudowsky
Cassandra Robison
Michael Shorb
Avery Slater This marks an author's first online publication
Josh Stewart
Elisabeth von Uhl This marks an author's first online publication
Muriel Harris
This marks an author's first online publication

Paul Blaney This marks an author's first online publication
Neil Grimmett

David Rigsbee
reviews All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems by Linda Gregg

David Rigsbee

reviews Heat Lightning: New and Selected Poems 1986—2006 by Judith Skillman


Mark Prudowsky is a green electrical contractor in Western North Carolina. He is a recent graduate of Warren Wilson's M.F.A. Program for Writers and his work either has been published or been accepted in publications such as Rivendell, Agenda, Heartstone, PIG, Wicked Alice, and Lily.

from Working Intently (A Sequence)    

The Spout and the Chipmunk

Stinging nettles, bare patch,
bits of silica and mica catch

the water-light of  birch crowns-
a place I favor for its solitude.

A year since last here by the creek,
I'd forgotten the stubborn spout rearing

up against the flow—how the creek
ignores it, rushing through the same

chute it's rushed through for how long?
A chipmunk on hindquarters paws a nut

turning it over and over, paying me
little mind.

*   *   *


In Kang weighs
140 pounds
dripping wet. He bends

rigid pipe in ways bigger fellas
cannot. I've nicknamed him
wrassler and watch in amused

envy. It's all in the mind
he says. When we shoot
pool, In Kang runs rack after rack

and I never can beat him
unless something weighs on his mind.
Both parents surgeons, he considers himself

failed though he catches on quickly,
anything to do with his hands.
This morning before work,

he found me wrassling
my truck's funky relay-
no clicking,

no spark. He fixed it in minutes
laughing, the whole time
admiring my intentions.


Ode to Three Seasons    

Count how often in fifteen seconds a male
cricket rubs one ridged wing against another.
Add forty degrees. You'll know the exact
heat of  late summer love. Every season
its surprise.

Four winters ago, though balmy for New Year
she lit a  fire. Frogs raised a ruckus by her pond.  
Every new year since puts me by that fire. Every
season its surprise.

     April's iridescent sun in its notch.
The aftermath's subsiding pulses. She, imagining
me asleep, herself unobserved, rubbed her neck,
softly exhaled.


Before Work

Before dawn, therefore before
other crews pull up, even

my own; before the tailgate drops,
coiled cable, pipe and drills

scrape the truck bed, emerge and
unpack themselves; before the apron

slung from the waist is weighted:
fasteners, driver bits, meter and tape;

before conduit saddles obstacles
encountered, saws wind up to roar,

compressors kick in to hammer ear drums;
I rub my cricked neck, look across the cove.

A tanager whistles. Soft light swells
sharpening profiles of spruce on the ridge.



Mark Prudowsky: Poetry
Copyright ©2008 The Cortland Review Issue 41The Cortland Review