Poetry by Joseph Harms

Read More: A brief interview with Joseph Harms

Tulpa Marriage ______

And I myself decided
What was rotten and what was fresh…
The value of my pardon
The shadow of my reach
Leonard Cohen

A choice between life and a kind of pretend life.
– James Salter

To make It was I willed to give the meanness meaning moot
when: epoch montage dream. From ’swallet to ’swallet. Ejecta
forgets its font. Errata forgets itself. So long (to’ve ’saltered
all, praise all things before their passing…Nothing has transpired)! Here
(most frightening word) skinmelted snow does not perfuse, theophanies
quietly toward dusk, xmaslights pluggedin, the windows limboblue
(all this just how it was with you, myself the same looseened
really), caughtsparks about the greenfused net against the storm,
where one stares the syzygy, what’s behind a guess (I left
when health returned and you got sick sicker yourself really).
I always look right at it. Now ’snowblindness (I’d help myself
to more after having served you firsts). I help myself to more
(the braveface worn becomes the hypocrite).
Your daily love eventually killed me. Meaning I
to love you less killed myself daily as the weather fleured.

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Tessera

Keitel’s Madonna. Stars incruent eve after eve. The set
sun’s cupric fear an elevator of blood going
down. Incruency worse. Absconditus. Oculum. I
murengerer collect the limbs for forenoon fires, when bourned
lawnchaired, approached by turkeys, whittle knives to icepicks slowly
offcourse exnihilo. Not to shave but to transpierce. When
capitalized Life regardant grows paltry. The grand
made petty. We depose the other. In need. Always. The ends […]


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______ Request ______

Fieldbourned and far from roads we’d scrump the rakijafruit from Pavlovci
to Vrdnik—Ruma for necessities—expelled that June
from Popovica. With the twilit mainstreet cattledrive we’d leave
return in wake of pother thinner thinner kils and glory
consumptive. Surfeited. Forgot the haaf unknowing I’d left
you treading trusting as if handheld. Shoals. Hollow feeling fruit
can give. We’d stop the haas between the apricot and nectarine
crossroads and bee’d roll smokes pretend to eat supine—your happiness
the rarest thing was mine. Subjacent circumambient
orchards—your genocide just past the northern hills where home […]


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untitled

Enargeia

Below the wooded kame isled almost the elled confluence
by ’snowhid ice halved, canton somaed, necky impetrations
vectioning the black current still, kame unmoored, swans a sudden
’stelled, feathers slower than the snow, procryptic necky
enticements vectioning space then void at canton slowly, scrying,
a chorus of marmoreal want livened, beckon beg and reel in,
the kyotes paused before my car not one concerned they’re floating
passant onto the river large almost as wolves. No pleasure
but meanness. Never meant to…Always meant to…Never held […]


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___________________________________

A finalist for the National Poetry Series Award for his sonnet sequence “Bel” (Expat Press), Joseph Harms is the author of the novels Baal and Cant, which will be reprinted with a third novel under the title Evil Trilogy: Ades, Baal, Cant (Expat Press). His work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Boulevard, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The North American Review, The International Poetry Review, The Opiate and Bayou Magazine. He holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program.

Read More: A brief interview with Joseph Harms