:: Article

Three Poems

By Clint Margrave.

Family Tree

It was in Missouri,
during the late nineteenth century.

There were three brothers—
my great, great uncles.

One served in the House,
one in the Senate,

the other got hanged for
stealing a horse.


Pessoa Died a Virgin

They say the closest relationship
he ever had with a woman
led to a mental collapse
that almost put him in a madhouse.
Whatever the cause,
it scared him so much,
he never got involved with another one.
Maybe it was the pipe
she hid because she thought
he smoked too much,
or the way she kept punning
his name in French to mean ‘nobody.’
Certainly it didn’t help he made her
pray for one of his heteronyms,
and wrote her a letter that said,
“My life revolves around my
literary work…Everything else
is only of secondary interest.”
Or maybe it was those
‘impossible’ adolescent loves,
still engrained in his memory,
with their ‘deceitful affection,’
their ‘shrewd caresses,’
that continued to aggrieve him,
create ‘cosmic cataclysms’ in his soul,
push him to retreat inside the imagination,
teach him early on
what so many of the trampled
only wish they’d learned.


The Dimming Effect

The world is getting darker.

Less and less light
can reach the surface
of the Earth each year,

a result of airborne
pollutants that reflect
and diminish sunshine.

And to the harbingers
of doom, all those
who revel in the end,
who would make humans
the next dinosaurs
if it meant Armageddon,

I await your last flicker.

For I am of the few who believe
your bell is soon tolling.

How I grow tired of the way
your religious absurdities,
your apocalyptic visions of hell,
your hypocrite holy wars
contaminate the minds of men

like the way soot from burning
fossil fuel keeps light
from passing
through the atmosphere—

in science,
this effect is
known as ‘global dimming’

and recent studies

the damage is reversible.


Clint Margrave has recent or forthcoming work in New York Quarterly, Pearl, Chiron Review, The Teacher’s Voice, Spillway, as well as in the forthcoming anthologies At the Gate: Arrivals and Departures by Kings Estate Press and Beside The City of Angels: An Anthology of Long Beach Poetry by World Parade Books. Currently, he teaches English and Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, October 22nd, 2010.