George Eklund (Norfolk, Virginia 1952) is Professor Emeritus at Morehead State University. His poems and translations have appeared in Rio Grande Review, In Translation, The American Poetry Review, the North American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, The New Ohio Review, New York Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Conduit, Sycamore Review and Willow Springs, among others. His full length collections include Each Breath I Cannot Hold (Wind Publications, 2011) and The Island Blade (ABZ Press, 2011). Finishing Line Press published his chapbook, Wanting To Be An Element, in 2012. Eklund’s full length bi-lingual collection of poems, In the Arms of the Fog (En los brazos de la niebla) is due out from Ediciones Simiente of Morelos, Mexico. His new chapbook, Altar, is in production at Finishing Line Press and will appear in early 2019. Eklund is an Al Smith Fellow in Poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council. http://www.georgeeklund.org
The Man Who Was a Fiction
I will always be a fiction best ignored,
A fiction beyond judgement or revision
A fiction for which there is no prize.
A fiction made of rotting stumps
And planes on fire
Falling from the sky.
I am a fiction best forgotten
And never the subject
Of polite conversation,
A fiction make of silent black paint
And broken guitar strings,
An invisible cat who keeps returning
With its night sounds.
I am a fiction that rises from the river mist
And heads for town,
Already aware of its fate.
I am a fiction sealed in dusty jars
On rickety shelves in a charred room.
I cannot bring hope, only confusion
And knotted shoelaces.
I knocked on Melville’s door
And he slammed it in my face;
Went to Joyce’s place and he yawned
And turned away;
Had coffee with Beckett, he insulted me
Brilliantly in two languages.
The poets find me a tedious curiosity
And cross quickly to the other side of the street.
Dear reader, dear unrequited love,
I am forever birthing myself, bleeding
Though not likely to die
Any time soon.
I will not tell you any stories
Except for the ones you imagine
Out of crimes I will never commit.