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NEW POEMS

by

Todd Swift



Hull Losses

First, the Concorde's tire burst, then
the Kursk went down in the Barents Sea,
all hands knocking out Morse
with spoons on bent hulls, the high-tech

surroundings inexplicably silent.
Rescue pods fail. Scan-addicts,
meanwhile, search for HQ babes,
dragging up thumbs from blue depths.

Cold Russian submariners morose
on an Arctic floor; exploded German
tourists in the burst supersonic;
a child penetrated, later dumped in a bag;

the convict injected; the neurological patient
whose eyelid, alone, is what still moves
(fluttering like the flap of a cut thumb).
Each a real presence: but not for all time.

What is our true quality, sly impermanence?
The flaw in us may be like a single hair
scanned in by accident - a stray line
fracturing the collector's perfect JPEG.


Hume's Billiard Balls

The thing is,
you step out,
probably for nothing important,
cigarettes, more milk,
to see her after work,
but the explosion
is also there, just
at the same time,
no explanation
good enough for causality,
Hume's billiard balls
on the smooth green table,
clicking one against the next,
and there and there in the mall.







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Todd Swift is a Paris-based poet, anthologist and screenwriter. His publications as co-editor include the anthologies Poetry Nation (1998, Vehicule) and Short Fuse (Rattapallax, 2002). His Budavox: Poems 1990-1999 was chosen by Geist as one of the five best books of 1999. He recently released a CD (The Envelope, Please) as one half of the performance group Swifty Lazarus, on the Wired on Words label. His new collection of poems is Cafe Alibi (2002, DC Books). He is poetry editor of Nth Position and contributing editor at Matrix. His poems have recently appeared in Cordite, Jacket, Maisonneuve and Poetry Wales.




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