The International Literary Quarterly

February 2009


Donald Adamson
Robert Appelbaum
Rosemary Ashton
Sujata Bhatt
Stephen Burt
Rita Dove
Elaine Feinstein
Sophie Judah
John Kinsella
Ron Padgett
Pascale Petit
David Plante
David Shields
Susan Stewart
John Thieme

Founding Editor: Peter Robertson
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Consulting Editor: Marjorie Agosín
Consulting Editor: Richard Berengarten
Consulting Editor: Jill Dawson
Consulting Editor: Denise Duhamel
Consulting Editor: Marilyn Gaull
Consulting Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Consulting Editor: Mimi Khalvati
Consulting Editor: Suzanne Jill Levine
Consulting Editor: Margot Livesey
Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor:
Jeff Barry
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Issue 6 Guest Artist: Anthony Whishaw

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Two Poems by John Kinsella  

The Sleep of Blowflies

The shady side of the house
is subsumed by blowflies.
It is stinking hot and stormy
and they've stopped moving.

They might be asleep.
Or is blowfly sleep a torpor ?
The house is their corpse
in which eggs won't set,

maggots can't take. No
forensic kit gives clues. The stimuli
of heat and light disrupt
circadian manifests, the sense

of day and night. Memory?
Mushroom body writes
short-sleep lines, struggles
to calibrate sleep regulation

machinery. Opening
a door or window, blowflies
erupt to settle near
places of departure:

too quick for sleep? Resting,
waiting, malingering,
or an attempt to rescue
sleep lost in forensic

etymology, battling
to stay wide awake
in the dark, the swarm
   of isolation.

Letter to Frieda

Had a flashback tonight,
straight into the devilry
of an acid trip, a gold flake
rehabilitation of childhood,

where nature stripped colour
to components
and flowers insisted
on sparklers - nasturtiums -

too bright, pluperfect
eyes open, blackness
machinate as the second person:
what am I trying to say here?

It's like paraphrasing song lyrics,
their goodness buried
under copyright. I've forgotten
the names of the birds

seen today, and even outlines
are fading away
from cities - this rain,
this little and less rain,

teasing seed still dry
in the ground,
picking at tracks
and wheel ruts,

would-be Godsend
whispering in that charged
kind-of-way: synapse
artery vein.