I can’t stop thinking of the blind young man’s tapping,
and that dandy cuckolded Bloom, the sickening sirens,
and the whole work laying over my commute, the highway,
like an exploded Church, my tires crackling over each brick,
every day like another ballad to the sun, exposed like Dedalus
buying a little milk in the morning—Comey, Yates, McCabe—
the tarpaulin, pulling, the top, the teepee, top parade, the babe
being strolled by his good mother. I listen to the seashore,
the heave and ho of the country’s nostrils, its punctured eye,
the people asking: “Who did this to you?”—America responding,
“Nobody. Nobody did this to me.” His falsehoods are music,
nearly innocent and childlike. His Hamlet-breath, still speaking
to his father atop a real estate project. “I am thy father’s spirit.”
Swelling at the throat, the aria that may cast a darkened light.
Marking the long tale, I feel as if my insides were cold dust,
the heart reduced to a monologue. Where to go for lunch?
Somewhere where I won’t run into him, the world-whisperer,
the eternal flatterer, the black helicopter filled with steaks
and the stone wife, playing at odds as if we needed to believe
in her statuary. Dignam is dug and gone; his life is spoken for,
the attributions, the lectures in the library, the greasy man
has passed, the barmaids giggled, the world is the world.

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ALEJANDRO ESCUDE's first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013 upon winning the 2012 Sacramento Poetry Center Award. He received a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis, where he was taught by such notable poets as Gary Snyder and Sandra McPherson. Alejandro works as an English teacher, having taught in a variety of school systems at the secondary level for over fifteen years. Originally from Córdoba, Argentina, he immigrated to California many years ago at the age of six. A new book, The Book of the Unclaimed Dead, published by Main Street Rag Press, is now available on the MSR website. Alejandro is a single dad of two wonderful kids and lives in Los Angeles with his dog, a feisty yet lovable Jack Russell named Jake.

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