Poem of the Month
Unsigned City

By Hugh Thomas

Published on March 3, 2020

I detail the verbal exchanges with the affronted voyager
on distant terraces, each equivalent in the space of the
citation. Attempt in the morning: the magnolia garden
inspecting its blue lack. Through the telescope, beauti-
ful women make jewellery and dissolve in water.

My senses cheated, I flew for justice to the grape-sellers.
Sally, in the palace of the oldest garden shed, high on
the scale of perfidy, spread me with mayonnaise and red
peppers.

Nell had gone into the discotheque, and I did not wish
to interrogate the rest of the philosophers. I compared
myself to the alphabet and knew I was getting younger.
Down the street, a pope’s skeleton worshipped a novel
of smoke.

“Do the birds know?” It was a time of infantile enjoy-
ments, glasses, high jump, sidewalks. The philosopher
sat on a bag of money. He dissed me. His cape made
of books and feathers was an imaginary ending that
closed around me. Only Laura or Sara could rescue me
from this language attendant.

Enough time sent me knights on horseback with choc-
olate-covered strawberries, and I was overwhelmed
by a fear of intimacy. In this city you must wash your
hands before eating, persuaded by the bells from the
mountains, selling a new day and its fruits. A strange
rover knows many fine things and follows his premoni-
tions to the most capricious sales.

When my animal trembles to music, he is buried in ce-
ment; the sleepwalkers swim above him. Through the
narrow glass, the young man in leather wants to alight,
but he must flutter near the crow’s nest to be lassoed
by a passing knave. Will it happen in May? There is no l
anguage without disappointment.

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Insurance Claim

Here’s how it panned out:
the stick of dynamite,
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to break up ice for trout

36

It all has to fit into twelve lines—a lesser sonnet— all that’s depicted at every instant inside the ...