Turning Point




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Sample Poems by Cole DeLaune

National Anthem

Remember, you're not Mary McDonnell
in Dances with Wolves, and neither Kevin
Costner nor an Academy Award will
redeem your romanticism. Heaven
may be a place on earth, but I've never been
anywhere beyond my burned-out patch of plain.
Realize to even broader purgatories
we might progress despite a history
defined primarily by stasis and few
reasons to favor resurrection - what use,
this world that revisits itself? Because
everything's circular: my lips threaded through
your tensed digits, the flesh-flush closure they
cup, personae we assume and or betray.


List in two words
What I'm saying to you,
it will

help you to here, this poor
trait of mine. It's a
test I meant

To you.
Listen to words
why, the distance to
hear is possible: an
ear, full

of echoes
as a shell.


and up to the left
over your bare shoulder they
hover, a dazzle

in the green evening,
he a toe and heel beyond
youth's swagger, her face

the river in ember
that asks you to consider
the preferable

synecdoche: mute
rooms at the Ritz Carlton or
rubrics of ruins,

fields full of Hitchcock
girls or sycamores blazing
through the urban air?

Does intensity
best indestructibleness?
Decide, risk it all.


Aspire to a standard of picturesque
suffering, your languid afternoon vigils
crescendoing not to talky idyll
nor to humid corridors of wrist ring brisk
and fleshy union, but to cinematic
simulacrums (not Rohmerian, no,
but rather technicolor aesthetics).
For inspiration, refer to predecessors
Marilyn Betty (Draper) Joan (Kennedy
in exile), and bands of non-blonde precursors,
too. But target one brand of malady,
then come to appreciate symmetry,
synonymy, other words to live by.