archives winter 2008



Phoenix, Colorado

The woodstove at the cabin’s center,
where every star collapses, stirs up
its apparitions: aspens, mule deer
beguiled by song from the salt lick,
camp robber courts for Steller’s jays
grazing the rail in sunlit crowns.
That creek becomes the Colorado—

Earth’s curve intensifies downhill
beyond the glacial glass in frames
of beetle-killed blue spruce. In folktales,
some nests hold snakeling eggs, some cages
don’t hold, and some things never die,
damn liars, but wink from grates and doors.
A ring where trees retreated—beneath

the gravel, char. Like stars, this family:
one generation fuels the next.
Pentatonic music, rocks
forgotten on the mountainside.
We reemerge and wait all night
for sizzling rain on the steel roof,
then rise in sun, no longer ashen.

Without Glasses

The masses in the television merge.
Murky and thick as exhaust
fan growl, the kitchen counter

clutters with knives and bottles.
Hard angles of the window smear
against winter’s vacant skyscape,

drafts in veins and coils breaking
microscopic cracks. In the mirror,
hollow sockets call from a skull,

but how are they visible? Alarm
clock light, doubled up like eyes.
The world folds inside an envelope.

Outside, a dead man waits,
arms spindly and spreading. No,
only a sapling, leafless in snow.  


Steven D. Schroeder edits the new online poetry journal Anti-. His poetry and reviews are recently available or forthcoming from Verse, Beloit Poetry Journal, Pleiades, The Laurel Review, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Cimarron Review, and Verse Daily. He works as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and splits his time between St. Louis and Colorado Springs.