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from Backlist Books (current)

Items selected from books in
The Pikestaff Press Catalog

Jeff Gundy

from Surrendering
        to The Real Things

The Archetypal Experience
of C. Wordsworth Crockett

He went out
pome hunting,
wandering his decidedly
altered perceptions through
an area of trees
grass flowers birds
and other natural and/or
organic items among which
pome hunters of a certain stripe
have down through history found
their finest and most annotated pomes.

He craftily ignored
the first few trivial soft
malnourished pomes to be seen
creeping timidly about, in an instant
knowing them for runts and rejects
the taking of which
was not so much forbidden as despised

but having waited for a time
sufficient to have kindled
in his breast those emotions
of rage despair and yes,
most terrifying, boredom,
to which pomehunters are
most vulnerable,
our hero spied a somewhat modest
but well structured pome beginning
“Leaves/ had browned./ Among the
branches where” and culminating in
a carefully unstudied metaphor
relating the uncertainties and
gradual growth of a most
uniquely mediocre tree
to questions of ontology
epistemology and yes life itself
in words of no more
than two syllables,
shot it down
and dragged it home.

© Jeff Gundy

C. W. Finds an Organization Pome

lying in the bushes saying
II. softly to itself. He
peers at it curiously and
suddenly the pome notices
and snap! becomes his
freshman hist of west civ
textbook, mutters Abelard, Anselm,
Augustine, sees it’s not working and
becomes a factory, eats seven leaves
four rocks and a stick, puffs,
squats decisively,
shits a brick. C. W.
stares, amazed, and heartened
the thing works faster, piling
bricks around itself until
they collapse in on it. In the silence
C. W. picks up a brick, sniffs. Nothing.
Tries to break a corner off; can’t.
Wonders should he try to kill it,
jumps on the brickpile, turns an ankle.
He stoops, scatters the bricks.
At the center is a pile of dust
the wind’s already lifting away.
Too late, he hopes it’s not spores.

© Jeff Gundy

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Lucia Cordell Getsi

from No One Taught This Filly
        To Dance

Swimming The Body’s Water

In the beginning, chill
I can never anticipate seeps
through bone, and more alone
than I could ever imagine, my unschooled
arms stroke the water, cold
that swells the heart, distends the tight
arteries, teases heat from opened
pores as water and skin begin
a mating

and only when I fill
with cold so natural the arms flinch
against the rasp of air, when time
measures in laps and the counting
stops, does my mouth work open
and shut with water, narrow dam
of teeth and tongue protect lungs that ache
for more than vapor, for water that slides
across my throat in search of gills

then this body drilled by water
remembers the sea that spilled
like blood toward a lifting sun
how the legs opened and closed
on brine so soft they barely sensed
the inward flow, how it emptied,
surged again, so that the legs forget
the land, the loosened hips grow wide with sea,
the body swims the sea inside

© Lucia Cordell Getsi

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