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Crag Hill

Gangway #30/31

Card Games / 7 x 7



2 of Clubs

The streetlights were fuzzy from the fire rain that was

I walk out of the highway, my head the entrance of dew,
lean feet planted loud in all that starts everything agog

You get to grow camphor by what they thaw all day.
Those who pay their mastic load, those who adore the rails
of laughter, posted in threes throughout my Zion, those are my boasts

tug of earth. I scrambled through the nest, dislodging it to drop
behind me. Even when I was standing on the ledge next to Lee,
I didn’t turn my eyes, I didn’t look at anything but him. I
grabbed his skinny arms with all my strength and felt his

Settle a bit miner with laughter everywhere.
You can’t wilt in any reflection sitting on the Round or
Lake Wishingbone, and from above the ruin belted down,
but never when you were purged from it. It was hand to air
to tell a form, the plural face, so I clamped it shut

Crude weapons could be
made by ‘almost any nation or
groups,’ and while they might
kill only small numbers of peo-
ple, ‘they could have signify-
cant operational repercussions’

I sit on the catch, hollow a president. The zipped bug
was a curt turn gun and I was scenting charlatans to mill
no reply. If I want tone, the dictator hiss-spits
all urgency he’d want to cope for, more toasts
than I know I’d fuel. I didn’t want to be impugned
were anybody to fume me, could stand my dead
and stuff leaves that weren’t me


4 of Diamonds

The landscape after the battle, in a conquered country, dare not smile

I’ll miss the four points: north, lakes filled with bluegill; east, ocean
blue to the sky, south, soft blue gulf; and west, blue alpine lakes of the Cascades

seethed like soup in a cauldron. We couldn’t imagine what
was going on. It turned out to be frogs, hundreds of them, all
scrambling together at the surface of the water, climbing on

The torturous debate raised the level of concern going through
his mind. He didn’t use them getting back to the Colonel. It was
about eye candy, command and control, the authority of Wednesday.
You were pretty cool if it was a perfect store

heaving seas
yet what eyed I haunted, why I shelled half my laugh response
sneezed aside a sand conduit
when I can comb mean
and loosen a pace in my own choir

Nothing short of attacking actual homes
The anti-war crowd doesn’t know how to confront evil
Let’s talk about atrocities, peace without consequence
Civilians scattered, scarce food supplies, our siege troops
They’re trying to figure out what to do next
Their disappointment does not match up with performance

he was branded on the back
with the letters
and was suffering from shock,
unable to give
explanation of his condition


9 of Clubs

pulling his mouth into a frown. Serious pouches hung beneath his eyes

That’s his job, and so he takes his boos and exits
the stage, and no one really thinks about it much again

Opening the growing, seasoning the reasoning.
He yearns for her yarns while she knits.
Who’s left, then, when everyone’s right in the ground?

I had a feeling that I shouldn’t be here listening to this
sinful man who had mixed children and didn’t care who knew
it, but he was fascinating. I had never encountered a being
who deliberately perpetrated fraud against himself. But why

Difference of opinion, approach, which they have brushed aside before.
It’s difficult to pretend it’s not there. It would have been a lot worse.
Foiled the intruders? The only way to prepare is to avoid
flames thrown off by the pilot, good faith, verifiable coercive options.
How much time do we have? It becomes irretrievable

What can brown do for you? Less than Jimmy Kimmel, more
than Madeline Albright. There’s an odd sensation moving through
my body. I’m invoking a supreme directive. God has said
prepare for the enemies of god. It’s the first place we
begin to age. I was nots thinking I could ever break into
that world. You’re going to have to run me down

Doubt = distance, a stance that dies. This is the last day
of the poem, if not the last day of poems (or the last
poem of days). Every moment pregnant with the next
fertilizing other pregnancies, yet, moments with children
bulge with interruptions. What you do in the near future
will be suspect, pecking away at my sustenance, my hope
in your inherent integrity. Where’s the escape


Jack of Diamonds

Let’s get it straight. The president and the pope aren’t riding the new gay wave

war’s price tag so fast it’s nearly impossible
to keep track of the scrolling billions

I’m wondering if the thaw is hurt or kiss
when she peeks around the bones and entices my steer-
ing. At the thaw, my wheel buddy flashes

The stench of death filled the smoky air as five stiff and
bloated naked bodies their hands tied together behind their
back lay strewn on the sidewalk, among empty sacks of
looted flour, tin cans and cardboard boxes. A headless

The packing takes us an hour, and we let the piano
sonatas fill the quiet. Maybe Mom would have stayed
if Dad did something more interesting than raise
worms and work at the post office. But it probably
wouldn’t matter anyway. She wanted to be a singer

action to mathematics, without under-
standing or empathy. To have learned to
think ‘you’re you, no matter what’ about
those we love and even those we don’t
know has alleviated an enormous amount
of unnecessary pain

When they got to Chinatown, the shops were just closing. In
the window of the butcher shop dead ducks spread and dan-
gled; there was a pig with cherries for eyes. Fish flickered on
the sidewalk in plastic bags. The bakery was full of plump
pork buns splitting with filling, sticky wedges of rice pastry,
glossy, wet, white noodles, flabby on thin paper and sprinkled
with what looked like red and green confetti. People hurried


Ace of Clubs

We have made peace possible? Not in our lifetimes, by George

or whether to hang tight to the supple way a newborn flipper can move
in the sand, grabbing and stroking, knuckles working under the shiny dark skin

old bony man came dragging by again, washing his hands of
the whole deal. Nobody paid us much mind at first. The aides
went off to the Nurse’s Station, leaving us standing in the day

It was beginning to look like the American public was never going to notice.
They have done a tsunami job keeping Americans from paying attention
about the absolutely moribund manufacturing sector, about the decline
in employment (except in the government, where jobs are blossoming like dogwoods)

Hard to pin down the life of time, without a heart beat.
If I had a medal, if I had a metal plate
screwed to my synapses, if international conflict
transformed consciousness, I’d enlist now, I’d end.
Unscheduled, unrepentant, the train formed its own tracks

breached but declined to elaborate…
the information could have been acquired.
There were a number of identity theft cases
being investigated where the common denominator
appeared to be that they all were blood donors.
dispatchers couldn’t trace the call and listened helplessly while he begged for his life

The answer in the stitching, these mountains
are waiting, child of the wind. They’re catching
up to him, new crop of reality, invulnerability
disappeared. Is there a safer place
to put the gas? I’m too busy watching smoke
come out of every orifice in your head,
buses still running in Baghdad


© 2004 by Crag Hill