"Bao Xishun in Beijing" in Painted Bride Quarterly
"Inspecting the Big Window" in Quarter After Eight
"After Passing a Picnic Table in Cow Pasture" in The Southern Review (audio at SoundCloud)
"The Principle of Uncertainty" in Painted Bride Quarterly
"A Child's Tyranny" in Glass: A Journal of Poetry
"Late Blossoms" in Superstition Review
"Rockland Harbor" and "The Ice Storm" in CircleShow
"Morning Routine" in Thieves Jargon
Nonfiction & Flash Fiction
"After Seeing Amour" in Kenyon Review Online
"The Nameless City" in Toad
Five Prose Poems by Aloysius Bertrand, translated with Jessica Rae Hahn, in The Adirondack Review
Half the trees blossom in this old apple orchard.
The rest never bother, having died years ago
though they refused to lie down. Wolf River,
Empire, Red Delicious, even Crab Apple--
but no one comes to harvest this threadbare
abundance, except boys in late summer swinging
baseball bats at each other’s wild pitches,
laughing at the acrid spray of unripened flesh.
And still later, after first frost, and after
the worst blizzard, haggard and starving deer
stagger in like old women at slot machines,
dredging for whatever meager fortune
they can claim. Come Spring, it is easy to tell
the apples exploded by the boys’ surplus
of violence from those gutted in the deer’s
desperate hour. Where hoof and tooth could not
retrieve the fruit from winter, half eaten apples
seem to bloom as the ice that held them recedes.
These small hemispheres emerge heavy and ruddy
with the bitter perfume of abandoned earth.
--a slightly different version riginally appeared in Superstition Review
“Chief Mason: Marvel at these bastions and buttresses.
They seem built for eternity.”
Schiller, William Tell
Abraham Knupfer is singing, trowel in hand, scaffolded so high up as he examines the cathedral bell’s inscription that his feet on the staging dangle over the gothic church’s 30 flying buttresses, over the city with 30 churches.
He sees stone gargoyles spew slates of water into the abyss of corridors, of windows, of pendentive domes, of belfries, of towers and turrets, of rooftops and wooden frames...while a falcon glides past, a streak in the grey distance hovering on notched and steady wings.
He sees battlements silhouetted in starlight, the citadel bloated like a hen in a cake, courtyards where sun dries up the fountains, the monastery cloisters as shadows revolve around the pillars...
The imperial guard is stationed at the edge of town. A cavalryman is drumming out there! Abraham Knupfer can distinguish his tricorne hat, his bright red wool coat, his cockade's pleated loop, his ponytail braided with a ribbon.
He can see even more--on an emerald lawn in a park ornamented with ancient trees, mercenaries take practice shots at a wooden bird nailed to the top of a maypole, riddling it with holes.
And in the evening as he descends the ladder, after the melodious cathedral nave falls asleep--lying with its arms crossed--Abraham Knupfer beholds on the horizon a village set burning by these men of war, a whole village blazing like a comet in the sky.
--Originally published in The Adirondack Review, with four others translated in collaboration with Jessica Rae Hahn. Read the original French through Project Gutenberg.