MARCH: Poetry that Roars
F.J. Bergmann & Bobbie Lovell
F.J. Bergmann writes poetry and speculative fiction, often simultaneously, appearing in Black Treacle, The 5-2, North American Review, On Spec, Right Hand Pointing, and elsewhere. Editor of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and poetry editor of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change; recent awards include the 2012 Rannu Prize for speculative poetry and the 2013 SFPA Elgin chapbook award.
Between my fourth and fifth ribs is a fistula, an opening,
Fabergé Easter egg window into my heart. Just a moment;
I'll unbutton my shirt . . . . Come closer, and you can peek
into a small sunlit garden surrounded by a clipped hedge,
an intimate landscape with mossy, indistinct ruins
sinking into the curves of undulating lawn. I can't see it,
myself; the mirror is never at quite the right angle.
But my friends and my cardiologist tell me all about it.
They say it is always sunny in there, although there are
clouds on the horizon. Occasionally someone will claim
to see mountains in the distance, and once a child said
he saw the turrets of a tiny city beyond the faraway hills.
No viewer has ever seen a single human or animal
in my heart, not even an insect, although I am told that
there are many flowers, whose faint, delectable perfume
is a rare emanation which I may only be imagining.
The shadows shift, but the phenomenon we call sun
is always behind the onlooker, and never sets. Sometimes
a longer, more angular shadow looms across the grass.
Whatever casts that dark movement remains invisible.
-- F. J. Bergmann
Curse you bloody body barometers,
you muggy magenta skull-caves
where excess cares gather and infect,
form cumulonimbi that threaten
to eject eyeballs like corks.
My head’s become a plumber’s nightmare
of clogged snot, a stoppered bottle
of starving gnat-sized bats shaken awake
from blessed hibernation.
I idly await your postnasal drip,
your icky ochre precipitate,
the divine deliverance of drainage.
-- Bobbie Lovell