12 May 2009 | Vol. 9, No. 1

the sun with a glitter of knives

a sniff of locomotives paws the tracks

                            steel horses bridled

by an enthusiastic crowd of Italians

                      a gangrene of professors

too long dealers in second-hand graveyards

in the sinister bodies of dormitories

hurling off in violent spasms

shrunken, crucified dreams as damaging

as drunks

                          the sickly prisoner

will throw us in the wastebasket

                 let us make a floral tribute

                 to our fragile restlessness

oh, the joy of seeing your exes

we want no part of it

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About the author:

Jeff Encke's work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Double Room, Fence, Poet Lore, Quarterly West, Salt Hill, Tarpaulin Sky, and 3rd Bed, among others. He has taught creative writing and literary criticism at both Columbia University in New York and Richard Hugo House in Seattle.

"Aziz Salih Al-Numan," "Latif Nusayyif Jasim Al-Dulaymi," and "Sa'd Abdul-Majid Al-Faisal Al-Tikriti" are part of a book-length series entitled Most Wanted; each addresses a figure from the Iraq's Most Wanted deck published by the Department of Defense in March 2003. Short phrases from these poems also appear on the playing cards of a custom-designed deck, which has been included in several exhibitions, including a visual poetry show at Harvard University in March 2005. Additional information about the project is available online at http://www.matlub.net/fulldeck.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Jeff Encke at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 9, No. 1, where "the sun with a glitter of knives" ran on May 12, 2009. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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