2 August 2009 | Vol. 9, No. 2

Not Noon, 1904

– for Meghan L. Martin


Poincaré sits in the turning dark

of the stairwell

folded in a thin nightshirt

eating a dry husk of carp, mostly

all huge brass head, eyes


with declining bones like a harp.

An influenza is in the suburbs.

The lamps

will be sputtering

with a soloist birdsong

that separates his thoughts. Bells

like 'little grisha' in low declensions

the white loins of the leopard

in flight through the windows

of the lyceum

washed with vinegar and small sunfish.

The bell rope falling

from the night sky is the last secret that,

and his perspective of the first stanza

as a composition

in six dimensions, the uncommon



The zebra stands in the back

of the beer truck

eating straw off blocks of ice…

the zebra has polliwogs

on it like lice, field

lines of wiggly sentience

and the pink mice insisting, cropside,

of a plague outside Marseilles

and Nice.


The beer truck drives into the dusk.

The untroubled potato fields

egging on a soloist bird,

at evening; it sings

of the über-frames and the long

long bell rope at dawn.

Grisha, common

monotony of enigma is what's wrong.

It's grisha who now mourns.

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About the author:

Norman Dubie's most recent collection of poems, Insomniac Liar of Topo, was just published by Copper Canyon Press. He lives in Arizona.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Norman Dubie at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 9, No. 2, where "Not Noon, 1904" ran on August 2, 2009. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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