Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 1
Spring 2010

[Two Poems]

Flower Conroy

At the Tip of a Continent

I mistook nebulosity, alien topiaries & atmospheric
     static for what it must have been like
     in that azoic time warp
     when nascent enamel encased this freshly molded planet.
Such a stark, anarchic room
     it must have seemed even to its endower. Here: vacant
     night sunk in its spikes.
     This must be the zenith nirvana the enlightened can’t speak of...
Blind blizzard stampeded—vortex black hole
     of white; are others stranded? Did
     the huskies retrace their way back to the compound?
     Piling snow was you
spelling my name—it was aether,
     a spilling of dream. Now I stood gaping at the rift
     expanse beyond—wonderstruck—this crystal landscape
     flicked open like a catatonic god’s mouth.
If I heard howling, peered into the distance: the wind
     was wolves panting.
     Beneath a hood of stars I imagined shadows preparing:
     hands orchestrated, tendril legs dissected, agnostic alchemy
of a poltergeist’s aurora borealis bonfire.
     I tried to clap for warmth: my hands disappeared.
     Static of distortion crackled
     intimately—first as burning leaves, then as a sonic
boom’s resounding bloom—a cathedral
     of ice shuddered into collapse; & I who—
     convinced between heaves—heard you breathe—
     “Indefinitely”—dared believe.


Target Practice

The northern snow—a sorcery
     all its own—sifts upon the pewter woods
     & casts a tin sheen over the lunging branches.
Even the splatter of blood seems at peace with itself.
     The buck’s flabbergasted innards gush piston—
     like; it rubs its flank against the trunks,
loosens a bit the dipped arrow. Admit—
     what does the stag envision when its breath drags,
     the vast pinecone forest pinpoints
around him & the very air coagulates,
     slush in his brain? Vacant wilderness fills,
     an hourglass. Cervid mind hones; hollow echo
of cloven moon hooves. Spike coral of wintered
     grass crackles. The deer returns to the secrecy
     of its den. Wind chime din of icicles
announces the nonexistent bride. Quasi-satisfied,
     Cupid wrenches frees his feathered spear
     from between venison-ribs—it steams in the air.
While the hart continues to dream-rot, engorged,
     antlers molting—peeling bone—matted, gawking
     in quiet twilight, falling apart & nevertheless: gorgeous.


“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury