Poetry by Joseph V. Milford

Nest Under Lorca Aurora

I nestle in your space.

I create a nether sphere
So we can tether here
Any time under a tent

Of stars crudely drawn.
Preparing, I try to create space
For us to crescent in
Spreading the world blanket

Over the stellar broken glass
Of history so you can walk
Safely to the deli even when
You are not hungry-potential salvation.

I nightingale in your space.
You sing in mine.
A small symphony

All at the same time,
same cage, good page.
This duet from the black contract,

Cataract of the bubble chamber
and nautilus-this spiral spitting
a spore of truth, a quark or quirk.

I crepuscule and pulse in your face.
Neither neo nor nascent noir orb
Can chronicle this infamous lore.

Simply crumble.
They make tricycles out of the poets’ bones.
Children ride them all day

Down sidewalks partitioning zoos and museums.
It’s vainglorious and golden unctuous.
Hologram laurels waver among the scattering lizards.

With level heads we bevel landscapes in our own images.
Barren survivalist wildernesses nestle near our stars.
Amen. From aleph to zen, all will be well. Promise you, I’ll call.

Joseph V. Milford is a Professor of English at Georgia Military College south of Atlanta. His first book, Cracked Altimeter, was published in 2010. He is the host of the weekly Joe Milford Poetry Show, which he maintains with his wife, Chenelle. He also edits the literary journal Scythe with his wife from their shack in rural Georgia. Currently, he is happy with the Atlanta Falcons football team.


October Night With Glissando of Rain

Purple tonight with electric air the banjo on the radio
The tear in the screen of the door the dog there on the pine
Slat floor the cold wind wet on the hair of my big toe
Across the floor and the indigo of tonight and the slideshow
Windows supersonic planetarium, the angels on patrol and demons
Lurking with their wares and the deep well behind the house
That woodland creatures drown in or haunt and smells after the hard
Rain and the legacy of need at crest of every knuckle and wrinkle
Of every soft flesh of lip and the nuzzling of muddled cries, velvet
Warmth when you pull the shawl over a shoulder or a comforter
Up to the neck of the one you covet magenta with candle and slumber.
And the hardwood floors under your bare toes and the temporal world-
And the hardwood floors under your toes and the preambles to worlds-

Anchors, Harpoons

Here eat strick-o-leen as you extrapolate-
Cognizance of farmer’s almanac and wisp
Of gossip never abates, and then satchel
These things to chariot towards the auspicious

Flying city swift in the nimbus and abide
By petrol and gun-shy and grills and wells.
It tends to teem there and swell in the gullet
When one can’t muzzle the mullet fat

Seeping off the lips at holiday that says
Hurt me more to know me more; I say
To the forlorn South-please get a new apartment.
Once, a Cherokee priestess, about to embark

Upon the Trail of Tears, said: “North, East,
And West-those are directions-but the South-
That is a Place.” So, as a Southern boy, who did not die
In a civil suit or violent divorce, one tends to build

Wings on a regular basis. Hiding them under
Canopy beds-they are just kites then. They need wind.
Then hiding them in root cellars-they become
Bombs then-what’s needed is acreage-some earth-

A wide expanse other than a battlefield for once.
Hiding wings in the well. Children, please
Do not hide your wings in the well-sweltering
Under summer heat-this results in years of therapy.

Store them in the attic. Stellar confusion-
Ascension with upward flames. Seriously, this
Is the crime of all wars-a burning within-
Never outwardly-not per se. Anyway, the Cherokee

Would say that this place may or may not have been
A place to leave. This fire fostered for burning kites-
This need to destroy what’s cultivated to own it.
Did it ever occur to this regime to relax in fluxuation?

I wonder how ships ever made it to our western shores
In the first place, at this point, looking back.
In the first place, let’s look into and not back.
Let’s know skin before we tattoo it. Let’s know

Hearth and heath before we abandon it. Let’s know the elements.
Let’s know the prerequisites of danger and knowing this
In a place where it is too easy-it is too easy to forget this.
The halcyon scythe harvests its black souls from flesh and flax.

The Cherokee has buried three Irish husbands, dips her snuff,
Spits black trails of tears, stirs crackling strick-o-leen in the skillet.
The sails of a ship once foretold by stone tablets embarks
For its new world in a tempest as priests bloodlet the youths.