May 1998

John Kinsella


R.T. Smith

R.T. Smith
  Muffy Bolding
  John Kinsella
  Richard Foerster
  A.F. Moritz
  Miriam Levine
  Louis Armand
  David Shevin
  Stellasue Lee
  Adrian C. Louis
  David Sutherland
  Gregory Djanikian
  Paolo M. Bottigelli

J.M. Spalding
  R.T. Smith

William Heath

Douglas Thornsjo

John Kinsella John Kinsella is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, most recently, The Hunt and Poems 1980-1994. His work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, among many others. As well, he is the editor of Salt. Currently, he teaches at Cambridge University in England.
Nocturnal House    Read Along with the Author

        for Seamus Heaney

Dim and almost blue the owl glowers
and marsupials rustle amongst the leaf-litter —
fresh and crisp. Outside it is so bright
the day risks over-exposure. A line of visitors
hesitates just inside the entrance,
eyes dilate, drink the dark
(leaving, the light shocks them shut).
A dimly lit sign suggests
it’s a negative world — night
will bring daylight into the nocturnal house,
and with it a haunting quiet.



The Rabbiters: A Pastoral    Read Along with the Author

         for Douglas Barbour

That the Theocritan ute has been versed
in country things seems obvious, the velour
on the dashboard crazy with fresh air
rushing through the doorless cabin, the cursed
skies blackened by night. Though a moon lurks
somewhere and the spotlight cutting through
the burn-back of summer detects the jerks
of nerves and tissue — the rabbits out to chew
the burnt prongs of stubble, the halogen’s
conflagration filling the omni-screens
within their eyeballs — the crack and whine
of a triple two mocks its rituals, a sign
of fading influence in a field where gravity
is a neck chop and the poem is framed by levity.



The Melody Haunts My Reverie...    Read Along with the Author

i.m.m. Roy Lichtenstein 1923 - 1997

1. “Oh, Jeff... I love you too... but...”

“We Rose Up Slowly... As
if we didn’t belong
to the outside world
any longer... like swimmers
in a shadowy dream...
who didn’t need
to breathe...”
& the sun
couldn’t penetrate
the face-tint
& tacky
breathless we rose up
in a shower
of bubbles
mapping our star-signs
on the insides
of our eyelids
we gurgled,
into platitudes,
shadows & sharks
as cartoon
our hair as slick
as helmets.

2. “Okay, Hot-Shot, Okay! I’m Pouring!”

You can’t expect
to feel comfortable
with a track record
like yours —
they know your vinyl
face in the pawn shops:
disco balls & fluffy dice,
baseball bats & pompoms,
crushed velvet &
chrome exhaust systems
& YOU an ace!
Your moves
are obvious — sex

IS parody & love
an air to air missile
into your myth
of security
like arousal.



John Kinsella: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue ThreeThe Cortland Review