(Upon having seen the play by Neil Labute)

for DFW

No temple or tomb;             there is only a coffin
as shiny and antiseptic       as a new car,
a few maudlin          flowers in vases.
Everything has         already taken place.

Rather than sacrificial           scatterings hurled
into the air                 or censors swinging,
only a thread          of cigarette smoke
punctuates the character's        compulsive monologue,
wafts up,         and dissipates.

The play's story         is oddly ancient.
At some point,          as it quietly turns
through its installments,       it whispers "Gotcha!"

The Final Movement of the Poem

The welter of ambivalence       through which each
has known the world       will begin to slip
away:  a curtain      in a breeze; an angel
arched over               each of our ears,
the two of them       murmuring our name.
Back to the original      night of times.
Back to the original      mover unmoved.
In that last       movement of the poem,
a spotless stone     lamb or two
will nestle at the soles     of our bare feet.

Two Taken
(In Memoriam: Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari)

In Iran, the table of Allah
is blue, flat, and heavy.
Among the children of Hagar,
Khadisha, and Fatima,
there are those who would rise
if they could. Besides the sword,
there's a pile of stones,
a beam above the bed
of a truck, a pair of blindfolds,
a glass of dark wine.
In the United States, to placate
ignorance and hate,
the Feds have gas and a syringe;
they provide a last meal.
One star, then two.
Unable to follow our rising up,
they float like flakes of cork,
in front of everyone.

Ekleksographia #2

July, 2009


Scott Hightower

Scott Hightower's third collection, Part of the Bargain, received the 2004 Hayden Carruth Award. His translations from Spanish have garnered him a Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. He is a contributing editor to The Journal. His reviews frequently appear in Coldfront Magazine and Boxcar Poetry Review. A native of central Texas, he lives in New York City and Madrid, Spain. He teaches at NYU, and has taught at Drew, F.I.T., Fordham, and Poets House.