the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Fall 2007



Colette Inez

Anagram of Colette Inez in a Loosely Given Villanelle

I elect Leon not in nice Zen zone
on lent zinc cot,
on lone lot I let Leon toil.

No coin. Toilet lice. Not Oz. On one
line, lone Lon Clinton. Ice cone. Eon on cot.
Tilt. I net Ezio. Not once. O note

oil on zinc cot, not niece, Liz,
teen tit. Tic. Zit. Not Noel,
Leon loin-clone, I let toil.

O colt, Colin, I lie on tile.
No nettle, lint. Eli on zinc cot.
I let elite Neil on line. Tie. O note

tone. Title: "Lenten nite on cot."
Once I let con Leo coil in lone lot.
I notice Lee. On zinc cot I toil.

O lit Lee, lent cot, I let none lilt in.
Zen zone, not Toni in Olean, Leon, Leo, Len,
not Lena, Eliot, Eli, Clint, no CLeo on cot. O note
I elect Zeno to toil. Olé.

Barely Remembered Belgium

Faces peered out of a puddle,
marked by that electric spark

of whatever scattered the leaves,
two small shocks of animation skirting

a European capital just before the war.
Seeking a likeness in water,

"beauty is empty," they heard
from nuns who scowled after a wrong tally,

a date mistakenly transcribed.
The girls clouded over in a fog of rules.

Jackboots smashed the larkspur
they yearned to wear in their hair.

Now all taken leave, the known map of parishes,
asylums, woods beyond the stream, soldiers

sorting out the puzzle of der Krieg, la guerre.
Two women, slow to rise, stare

into a boutique mirror, above them a drift
of thinning clouds.


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