Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading Item: “Nuclear”

There are still a few minutes left in February 2, 2006, and so I post here a poem for the Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading.

This poem is by Terrance Hayes, who teaches at Carnegie Mellon University and whom I’ve had the joy of hearing read at the Gist Street Reading Series in Pittsburgh. (There will be a Gist Street Reading on 2/3/2006, by the way, not by Terrance but by other astounding writers.)

I have a print of this poem, laid out like an engineering drawing and signed and whatnot. I’ll try to post a pic of it. The line breaks and spaces are tricky to imitate in web form. But for now…

by Terrance Hayes

How to make a nation say,       uncle
In other words:       how to rule.
We learn
there will be no clue
before it happens.       No clear
sign from the Cosmos.       A clan-
destine airplane will appear       wrapped in the lace
of a black dream. Then a flash       like an ulcer
bursting in God’s gut. Citizens who goggle & race
about the city      as the sky becomes a caul-
dron.      The bones burn clean.

1. End words must be derived from four or more letters.
2. Words that acquire four letters by the addition of ‘s,’ such as ‘bats’ or ‘dies’ are not used.
3. Only one form of a verb is used.