about the author

Keith Kurzman grew up in suburban Chicago and briefly attended NYU. He currently lives between Seattle and Portland. Work has previously appeared in the Worcester Review and PANK Magazine and will appear in a forthcoming issues of Poesia.

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Keith Kurzman

1. Beekeeper

She chews aconite and betelnuts,
spits mercury into an empty can.
Hammers wheel by like applecarts
as the hunger-man rises over an oak.

Morning Susan fills her jar.
Silver fibers choke the wind
and a grinning jaguar spatters
espresso on the gravel.

Hungrier than Gods,
they suck paint off arabesques
and dervish into the dust,
muddy and exalted as children.

Bells echo in a felt gas chamber.
Clocks spill out onto a tarp.
The gold-fingered acrobat
scampers past a bust of Adam.

3. Matador

The jealous murmur beneath burqas
that shine like Ark light in the halls of no catastrophe.
There is no mastery here, no angelic order:
only a jug of oats and lilac.

From his arbor in Asturias, blooming and simple,
he entreats Netzach: it is a cormorant.
Fuddle-fingered and sweaty: it is a wren.
It is a terrier that plucks the ice out of cathedrals.

Venal scrapers and grandees scramble past
as coteries of mavens sprawl
through yards fouled with sawdust,
worse than guile poured over a kiss

This morning a hornet
Tore the wig off a corrupt judge.
Ugly cannibals chuck brass saucers
into the fireplace, vicious.

5. Fisherman

Go on and swim back to your telestial, go.
I dangled for a totem,
caught only split and burned
patches of keel.

Clutches of aspic strain and paw
and your proverbs smack like planks
on a canal through a church,
or only a tennis court.

Orchids grandstand and snarl,
but only for a moment:
Father tucks the shore in a box
and commits it to the sky.

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