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Sunday, February 01, 2009


by Stan Pisle

On Sunday mornings,

George Stephanopoulos does:

“The soldiers in memoriam”

I study the names,
attending to the towns they are from.
Hoping most are from cities.
--Big ones.

by convention of opinion,
a dead soldier from a city,
is less crippling.

the denominator of the whole is bigger,
they can pass in vagueness of the divisor.

The city won’t know who the soldier fucked.
That, at this time,
a soldier has been fucked.
And the progeny of that fucking is an urn,
spilling ashes across a newspaper.

--Ashes to be bushed aside from formal blues,
As the city’s coughs during the tapping march of
and capital myth worship.

But urn dust burns a uniform away

from a small town soldier.
It chokes everyone’s lungs,
stopping the whole fraction,
to catch breath,
in a parade,
to distract from our chronic asthma.

Berkeley resident Stan Pisle's poems have appeared in previously in The New Verse News and Our Magazine of Cleveland, Ohio. He's a supporter of California State University East Bay's writing program, and an advisory board member of CSUEB's literary magazine Arroyo.