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Linda Black - Four Poems

Linda Black


Was as a deteriorating moment, defined and out of the way.  Breakfast, whatever the situation. Mood bored. We live like this, decipher. Outside, the Amelanchier sweetly blooms. 

What should be said? Moulding, mouldering. Lost joy, a stolen cameo ring. Collaborate with past intentions.

Sieved, the little holes adequate, nor unexpected. The sink is cracked, the crack spreading. Disparate fissures conjoin.

Define slippers, step careful. Callipers may bear the weight of a father,  his withered leg. Pilchards or anchovies? Meaning peeled of intent.

A basement is halfway between. Coal below, the purpose consumed. Sun combined with frost may alter consciousness, as too the carrion crow.

This is the season of black spot, lighter evenings, when the body may slough its skin.

Shadbush, shadwood or shadblow, serviceberry or sarvisberry, or just sarvis; juneberry, saskatoon, sugarplum or wild-plum, chuckley pear.


(from THEN, pub. Shearsman 2021)




Pull out the safety net attributed to the defence of the realm. Flatten for ironing – bibs, rags, antimacassar. Unimportant considerations. Turpentine. Formica. An extra leaf (dropped). Dumb waiter.

Stays at home. Self-binding. An inverted cone shape. So many bundles. A jar for everything except the kitchen sink. Everyone accepts the kitchen sink.

Gaudy. With matching cufflinks. (Just the ticket for a strapless gala.) Worn on the abdomen. Stiffened with glue. A brow raised. A broken rib.

They had but little clothing, but such as they had was fanciful in character and fantastic in its arrangement. Any little absurd gewgaw or gimcrack they had they disposed in such a way as to make it attract attention most readily.

Ardass, arrasene, balzarine, bedraggled; bombazine, bagging, barathea, course and stout. Cap it all. Make it up. (That flower pot shape is very smart.)


(from THEN, pub. Shearsman 2021)




          I trade

in happenstance  fallacy

comes  my way   my mass

of mind   uneasy  awry  

disparate focus  the point’s

tip/trip   a  scratch   through  

blackened wax   no sooner  a foot 

than  a chair  petrified   gauged

in zinc   strut  splat  cabriole                   

stressed   flouted   singled

out  prance  frolic   turn

aback   cleave  slash 

the track   a curve  a fount 

the hand’s   rejoinder  

the needle’s  syntax




Pastiche  machination   a journey

unprepared for   a wall

unstuck  striated   an ending  

never sighted   incandescence   lack

of sanctuary   a torn curtain   

a shriek  a shower   an unshrinking 

store  of malefaction   rendered  

on paper  &  inconclusive   swirls 

lapping  overlapped   circulating  

in fine  particulars   penned 

&  fraught  then  the distortions 

twists  &  lies  limbs contorted 

conflated  &  overlaid 

See!  – an elongated neck  a six 

fingered  hand   a shriven  

head  – simulacra  external/internal 

encrypted   nor yet  forsaken

Stop Now  – leave it there



Copyright © Linda Black, 2022





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