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Paul Ilechko

Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press) and “Graph of Life” (Finishing Line Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Juxtaprose, As It Ought To Be, Cathexis Northwest Press, Thin Air Magazine and Pithead Chapel. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.

Make Me a Vertical

(for Louise Nevelson)

It must be vertical
she said
it must be upright
nailed on
and painted

I have a bone appetite she said
keep me standing

And we climbed two thousand feet
in the cold airof November
overlookinganother state
than the one
in which we currently
existedthe bones of our legs
engaged in the brain-eye continuum

It stands as ifit had feet
she saidtoweringly
and built up

Life with me she said
is so solidly wooden
so charred and restless
block upon block

But we crossed a bridgetransversal
over the slow pulsation
of river
not tidalnot yet
but still a mergingat the junction
still one foot before another
still a motionacross this latitude

Bridges can never work for me
she said
not in their horizontaltheir latticed nature
their elongation
their span
of bone against bone

It must she said
oh it surely must
make me a vertical.

The Bellringer’s Daughter

The bellringer’s daughter had chosen to dream
of the silver trunks of spindly trees

that gnarled and twisted themselves into a close
embrace of a cold white housepatiently

resting its hipsatop a widening concrete slab
whichinside her emerging fantasyhad hung

itselfgirdered and cantileveredover the gushing
waterthat reflected the bell tower further

downstreama place where the river had widened
to a mile or morein some other state of geography

in some other state of beingamong the rolling devices
that amplify percussion into the stateliness of music

the bellringer’s daughteremerging into eloquence
immersed in the liquidity of lifesang a song

of topography and balanceher head resting amidst
the greenery of the season
beneath the blue of distance.

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