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W.B. Keckler



The poems that seem (misleadingly) to consist of end-stopped lines are poems playing and jamming with a form I first encountered in the writings of Anne Carson, although I suppose lineated differently they might owe as great a debt to (Vince McMann voice here) the Mother of Us All, the Mistress of Ellipsis and Abraxas of Parataxis, Queen Gertrude. They are from a ms. tentatively titled My Husband the Elegist. The winter poem probably grew out of a jealousy at the sempiternal expertise of another poet (who shall remain nameless) at writing good, hibernal poems.


January, a Month of Temptations


A crow's bone throat peppers ears, throws Anglo-Saxon remnants.

Ice-needles prick blood awake. Stroke it til Eye oozes Worm-Ichor.

A weeping willow throws the I-Ching. Piano? Cage in Laughter.

Nature, ouroboros, auto-fellates nature...Orgasm, Ellipsis, Being.



A weasel digests a child's fresh heart, slinks home, ice-bellied.

A rise under blue sheets for a wrong lover. Pounding snow. An Elan.

Shake off the cartilage of these thoughts. "Eat shark daily," she whispers.

Something's raw liver. Fin. Indurated sea-flesh.

A cuttlefish has ejaculated ink in a cock's medulla.



What of this lightproof chamber in your soul? "It's a thirsty cunnus hiding."

What hard raptor waits to take it on-the-wing? "A little god comes through his

Poplars knock their antlers one hundred feet up. "I can't hear you crying here."

One arm pruning the other's lust. Shivas us. "And two new calmly entwine,






The dead man said.
Call them small tokens.
But the river water in his hair.
Had rusted all the words.
So they resembled.
500 years in entrails.
Taken out now.
Playing many violins.
For his parents.




The Madwoman in My Old Neighborhood

Beside many cypresses.
A stone wall.
Through an iced window.
For miles we watch.
A woman walking away forgetting.
And I remembered.
The human femur I once found.
In a cemetery rather funny.
A groundhog had brought it up.
To clean his home.
She passes my story looking out.
My thinking window.
And the human femur.
Between us gleaming.
Is wet with.
Her snow.
I felt bad for telling.
The grave her name.
Her hope.
Was Else.






W.B. Keckler's book, Sanskrit of the Body, won in the National Poetry Series 2002. (It may be ordered online through and many other online retailers.) His work has appeared in numerous magazines here and abroad. He is also a playwright.



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