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Monday, November 23, 2015


by J.B. Mulligan

A Syrian boy stands with food he collected from tables after Turkish people break their fasting on July 4, 2014, at Taksim square during the holy month of Ramadan in Istanbul. AFP Photo via Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey.

He tossed and turned, shifted and twisted, and fell asleep in the sea.
Small, puffed men with slim cigars sliced up the pies of the land.
White stucco walls and red scalloped roofs.  Gulls cried, hidden in the sun.

Buy this thingee.  Look, it glitters.  Listen, it whirrs.  Buy it now.
Where are the holy?  Psychics don't buy tickets for the lottery.
The current circled, hungry, patient, strong.  The coils reached out.

Uniformed functionaries gather and tally the data.
He is a father.  She is an aunt.  Children shoot hoops in driveways.
Visions of sugar plums clot to sea weed bangled with flies.

J.B. Mulligan notes that the form of this poem is a three-part sijo, Korean in origin.