David Cameron Sings the Brexit
It’s envy of the past that does us in.
High school promise unfulfilled: most likely
to succeed, or sing, or love. This was certain,
they’d wed. She’d write a novel. Dreams are free
at first, but interest compounds with longing:
how the Queen once weighed the globe in her palm;
your grandfathers too young to fight watching
Luftwaffe flares that burned above London
while Churchill’s desperate, bloodshot drinking songs
promised us the fantasy of control—
that our cause was just—that we had a cause
worth guarding. Now the fault lies in our souls,
which yearn for struggle without flag or fail,
forgetting failure’s what gives us to ourselves.
The Well of Meribah
(i.m. Philip Roth)
And Miriam died. The people
drank no water, gathered
in the desert of Zin, raised voice
against her brothers who vaulted
ochre staffs, beat the round stone
stone round as a man’s skull
until the fault opened, mouths
flooded in torrent of words.
Acoustic Shadows (The Battle of Perryville)
Bishop-General of the C.S.A.
arms raised to the dawn
pours cannon-smoke incense
swings his censer
grants communion to the hills.
August’s drought stretched
The butterflies bathed
on crimson puddles
feast of soldiers’ blood.
Was no one so desperate
fields dry, provisions seized
the snuffling hogs
who swarmed from the wood
in the mouths of the dead?
J.L. Wall’s work has appeared in Frontier Poetry and Jewish Fiction.Net and is forthcoming in America, Antigonish Review, and Modern Age. He has also published academic articles on modernist literature and written about the Chicago Cubs on the website of Baseball Prospectus. He studied Classics and writing at Northwestern University
and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he teaches.