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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now writing a dissertation on the sonnets of E. A. Robinson at LMU, where he tutors composition alongside editing flyers on poetry and style. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor at Review of International American Studies. He also teaches at Münchner Volkshochschule and leads the Amerikahaus Literaturkreis.

20160929

Charlottesville Nocturne

by Charles Wright

The late September night is a train of thought, a wound
That doesn’t bleed, dead grass that’s still green,
No off-shoots, no elegance,
                                              the late September night,
Deprived of adjectives, abstraction’s utmost and gleam.
It has been said there is an end to the giving out of names.
It has been said that everything that’s written has grown hollow.
It has been said that scorpions dance where language falters and
                                                                                          gives way.
It has been said that something shines out from every darkness, 
                                                                 that something shines out.
Leaning against the invisible, we bend and nod.
Evening arranges itself around the fallen leaves
Alphabetized across the back yard,
                                                           desolate syllables
That braille us and sign us, leaning against the invisible.
Our dreams are luminous, a cast fire upon the world.
Morning arrives and that’s it.
                                                    Sunlight darkens the earth.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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