– the guide (with platitudes)

Reminds why guide & grace is all etcetera. Reminds this road that seems to rope upon itself with turns is neither same nor shade-shape. Reminds choice. Reminds each path will birth itself perpetual in echo-steps etcetera. Come, come. Come follow to the wheres & whens, as truthy as today’s shoreline’s some version of tomorrow’s. Reminds the time be here for living/stories. Reminds we are not buried yet (cold-boney in the cruel, stark, dark, etcetera). Reminds we ain’t our fathers, quite. Come, come. Come suss us up a’one & right-reminds: Rule 1: Don’t follow Golden’s voice, which whispers sweetly, whispers hush

– the guide’s wife (in defiance)

Igod! I hear my hubby holler: Lawless! Igod! Come, come!  To turn off-path’s to test ons! Nonsense. I found you, fussed  you  from  your  bushspot,  mid- sequester  from  these  beatens. Be  gone,  blind  advisor!  Shoo, daft     chaperon:   ultracrepidary! (I ain’t no proto-sycophant w/ guidelines nor my matrimony!) You   noticed   Golden   sideways at the trail-rim, a lithely vanish. Lost agog, I’ll be your abled, ample  choropleth.  Here: take- hold my burlap bag with every woodland’s  vittles. Head  west, and  whip  this  clumpy  sack  to seep against each rudding tree, catch its leak. When Golden closes, look low and, prostrate, ladle forthwith. Listen:

– Golden (with the final word)

Why do I see my simultaneous lifes  made  bare  for  all:  endless &, reiterate, fractals? I birthed these seven sons, sexed lovers, yes, though seven is symbolic. One   life,   I’m   dead.  One   life, I’m never. Still others, forever ever, I’m always a-gerunding: I am far more woman than your fancy glad-after. Like a cocked gun, I break the wordy silence with a bang. But what does it matter? I’ve warned you. You watch it. I’ve warned you: how certain  a  hundred  cannot  hold me  (for raping),  how  your  time is up, now you’re fucked. You watch it. I’ve eaten my readers.


Michael Marberry’s work has appeared in The New Republic, Guernica, West Branch, Indiana Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Bat City Review, and elsewhere.  Currently, he is pursuing his PhD at Western Michigan University, where he serves as Poetry Editor of Third Coast and as Coordinator of the Poets-in-Print Reading Series.