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FOUR POEMS

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By Sam Magavern

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The Montréal Review, June 2021

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Ezekiel’s Wheels Within Wheels With William (2013) by Peter Aitkens

 

 

Greek Physics Primer

 

The fifth element is woe.

The gods don’t understand it;

see only four –

but we know the score – in

our bones – down below.

 

Electrons get sad, negative –

so tiny compared to protons,

it seems hard just to live.

 

I’m a particle and a wave.

I wave goodbye, goodbye.

Like a firefly I flit and glow.

 

 

Simple Simon’s Pie

 

Simple Simon is a stupid boy

with blackberry pie smeared

all over his shining face

and nothing at all in his belly

 

he never gets what he wants

so why

 

do his dark eyes blaze with joy    

 

 

Ezekiel’s Lament 

 

Ezekiel told so many people

about the wheel within a

                                      wheel

it started to sound – in his

own ears – inauthentic, like

a salesman’s spiel.

            The words that he

meant to reveal the gospel

now seemed to paper it over.

 

He could still see it in his mind’s

eye; he just couldn’t feel.

 

 

The Delphic Oracle

 

The fountain pen is mine

the black ink is all mine

the white paper is mine

kitchen table is also mine

 

but the poems belong to

Apollo

I am the shadow cast on

the page when he shines  

 

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Sam Magavern is a writer and public interest lawyer, currently teaching at the University at Buffalo Law School.  He is the author of Primo Levi's Universe. He has written in a wide variety of genres – poetry, fiction, film, scholarly essays, and comic books – and published in many of America's leading literary magazines, including Poetry, The Antioch Review, and The Paris Review.

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