archives winter 2008



A Question and the Idea of a Question

For once in my life I am beginning to think
Like a man as if lost in the woods
But I can feel the rug slid back under my feet

And how many people live in this house
And how many people love a house

And how love of a house can best be seen
In dirt swept out the back door
In a grain of sand brought a thousand miles inland—

I could never guess just by looking at a map
Which valley could possibly cradle a town

I could never protest silence with silence
A question fed back to itself—


Delirious Hem

Fight attendant blue,
the color of memory

where I find myself
in an airport,

a metaphor

unraveled, a metaphor
for travel even

though I hold
no ability or

boarding pass
to slip through

security. I make
sense of the universe

by thinking it
to be a ghost

of myself,
the million

parts of me scattered

over an Ohio

a farmer not even
looking up from his work.


On Silence

A longing for blaze—                          The field of noise

           There was bread then

The smell of bread—

                                            In the field of mute gods
           The bowl, the trajectory of light, the light itself

All of them
                      And none—

           Then a diner                           Nearing the twenty-third hour,

What you wish           Or wished to hide

           Inside the hull of a broken egg           Safe for a short time

But the sound of a bottle—

                      No a brick—
           Against a wall

Brings back what used to happen next—

                                 A laugh meant for a museum

           Sprung up—

                      A sky not meant to be.  


Adam Clay is author of  The Wash (Parlor Press, 2006). His poems appear or are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Barrow Street, Gulf Coast, A Public Space, Court Green, Quarterly West, Sycamore Review, New Orleans Review, Iowa Review, Cimarron Review, CutBank, LIT, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he is an Assistant Editor at New Issues Press and a Managing Editor at Third Coast. He also founded and co-edits Typo Magazine.