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  November 2013
volume 10 number 2
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  Rose Mary Boehm
  Merrill Cole
  t. joseph dunn
  Alex Johnson
  John MacKenna
  Robbi Nester
  David Scriven
  John W Sexton
  G. Murray Thomas
  toren wallace
  Alicia Winski
  mailing list
Merrill Cole November 2013



art by jeni bate

    Merrill Cole is Associate Professor of English at Western Illinois University, where he teaches queer studies, poetry, modernism, and creative writing. He was recently a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in Germany and a Guest Professor at the Art Institute of Braunschweig. His research project, Lust Murder Sex Dolls and Other Weimar Monstrosities, involves naked dancing, Dada photomontage, and poetry during the 1920s in Berlin. He is also at work on a second book project concening intersections of modernism and psychoanalysis, Modernity Beside Itself. Cole is the author of The Other Orpheus: A Poetics of Modern Homosexuality, as well as numerous essays and poems. His translation from the German of Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste's Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy was published last year by Side Real Press.



The Mystery of Statistics

    in yellow lines that won't
dry into symbol, paint

    over the appeal for justice, naked limbs
not otherwise obscene, than to service

    an abstraction, advertising
frames trimmed

    with false gold that enshrines a future
we shouldn't touch, as if sealed

    behind glass, while, headphones
jacked up, the dignified voice

    guiding us through the white museum
intones, all virtue

    lies in counting, counting
up to virtue, counting up because

    a detail means corruption, each particular
only a blotch: but look

    how peacefully
the little bodies line up in rows

copyright 2013 Merrill Cole




The pink prosthesis replaces
a limb
that isn't missing.
Would you turn away
if the marks weren't stamped
on the warm body? This map
won't help you discover
hidden treasure.
Bones rot
somewhere, bleached out,

"Peg leg" becomes a term
of endearment. What relief
to hobble home
to the red city where no one
says your name. Such hush-hush
lets you spell out, eyes
close to the little hairs,
all the ticklish words, what
you couldn't lose or give away,
the voices that made
you tremble.

copyright 2013 Merrill Cole