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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


by Chad Rohrbacher


My wife tells me they’re fearless and bold
Will goad you if you stumbled too close
Their nests the work of solitude
Who needs a beak closing in on your ears
A claw going for the tangle of child’s hair?


Shouldn’t I feel something
Concerning the four Iraqis calling for killing?
Blood their new national pastime,
The money they’ve earned firing rifles,
Keeping peace,
Going to the poor with cheese, and bread, and IEd’s.
We can’t go on like this,
Says one twenty year old
Wearing jeans and a cotton scarf around his mouth –
The fluttering wings, color the wind, defy the sky
Behind him.


Plaster and plumage.
One formed, dried, cut
Into the body of a house.
The other is just a good word.
No correlation. No metaphor.
Just feathers,
A peacock's underbelly.
The boy’s feathers are unfurled.
Strutting in front of his house,
He steps in blood. He kicks,
Lose a few colors.
His house won't miss a thing.
A poem is a feather
Torn loose from a house.
He dreams in wings.

After graduating from LSU in 98, Chad Rohrbacher continued to refine his craft and published poetry, interviews, and book reviews in periodicals and journals nationwide including Spillway, Faultline, Sunstone, Blue Collar Review, New York Quarterly, Amelia, and others. He won won a Louisiana Division of the Arts Grant and an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship for poetry. Currently he is completing a book-length manuscript The Stories Neighbors Tell.