Spring 2016, Volume 20

Poetry by David Long

Pangram Haiku

                                  Dawn, January sixth: 
                            fog covers her boat, the sun
                            pale as milky quartz. 


No joke, how’d you fit    
twenty-six letters?  Cajoled,
bumped, squeezed with vigor.  


                              Tenor sax, bass, drums, 
                               singer name of Vicki Jonze—
                               what a sweet physique . . .


The boyfriend exits.  
Hinges squawk, her crazy heart   
goes limp.  Déjà vu. 


                                          Slack, wax-faced, no fizz,
                                          heart beating a requiem—      
                                          his joy pulverized.


                          Downpour, ozone stink, 
                           jumbo worms exiled on pavement—
                           squishy fucking things!         


Quaking aspen leaves,
exposed to a fancy breeze,              
jiggle, shimmer, twitch. 


                   Forsaken job site: 
                   wood scraps, wind-frazzled VisQueen,     
                   huge muddy boxes . . .                    


Fitzwilliam quarry:  
the black pool, a June evening—          
we stopped before sex.    


                            Janey texts boyfriend: 
                            U make me quiver.  Puh-leeze . . .
                            we gonna catch fire!


               Joolz ♥ Queeny—                  
               Faintest blue chalk on pavement.
               Wondering . . . exes?


                               Baking, heat-woozy . . . 
                               firs and tranquil junipers                         
                               give excellent shade.                   


Goddamn it, Vinny sez,
quit’jer bellyachin’, ‘kay?
Fuxsake, woman.  Peace!


                               Nerves quite jangled here—
                               expected you by Monday . . .
                               so what the fuck, Liz?


     With apologies to W.C.W.

                My job depends on
                a rain-glazed ax beside these
                five quick white chickens.




BIO: David Long’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker and numerous other journals and anthologies. His books include three novels and three short story collections, of which the third, Blue Spruce, received the Lowenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is at work on a book of short essays and a book of short fiction.