Issue 14 – Summer 2008 – Derek Henderson

Derek Henderson



The vine of it is yet nostalgia, was “was” as it disappeared. 
This, then, is the room,
that the street, its water its own is, to a stuttering King, parting,
merely waiting at the shoulder.  The 
Midnight. Stuck back. The lineament come to tremble—
this is the end of Word, of poem. The baby
in the street.  The vine there in the hand;
was it had, was it enough?  Nuzzling the gristle,
lightly.  Cracks in the Street.
                                               The edge was stuttered to a kiss,
this She of the 
Yellowing in at Noon.

The lips, and walking, she asks of this bottle
across the green and broken table—was that poem kissed seven times? Blessed thrice?

These words, close.

Sprung street—over the edge, there the stutter times the stuttering.
Who are these questions out for?
Arched into the Old, that was the Vine.  Touch around the people,
                                                                                                                     as the poem has in it windows.

Hannah’s lips, a would’ve on the street.  Each dawn which burns the
night brushes its light over the rug. 
                                                                Another remnant of the earth breaks us on our street,
it blackens, by there a new before, a new opening—both are mornings, mournings
full of black lacquer, condemned, bottled—I is a pale writing beginning
left into the sunlight, flowering what will be lost.


to this, in from what movement
weaves over what is heated—

                                                                 As I die at the gates, as dawn lightens and opens into the cemetery,
                     the sound slowly turns to whom time kissed, wondering at the grass, there, greening

the night,


left across this was the clock, which is about and is just glass.
what time is, at the fabric left to turn, left to read, moves, makes nothing.
It slips the horizon,
                                     After 1:38, nothing is backward—crossed out pressure, or else horizon.


Backlit through glass windows, found in the a.m., isolating the this, I left
and spilled in and on the cushions
                                                         the “As” of another poem’s weight, a poem for
                                                                                                                                         kisses, the What

That is placed there in part, in nothing—
Through us, the bottle was left as bottle itself,
To make more exquisite the light coming through.
More towards left behind—it begins itself.  More than its lines can do.
Window—the bottle in it. For I sense everything of its vitrescence in it
Its little arch at the neck, the stutter of coefficient in its curve, the simmering of it in the light.

             part with something in your glance, the
tips of green that is lost as my lips come more kissed.
                         –over, other




Our Yard Had a Gate.


Drunken, a jolly ain’t, a noon of jokes.
Too mown, the lawn today is going dead 
so distraught – solar flaring and sunstroked, 
water-loveless, tanning & undjarted –
an assemblage of a punishment, oh
none of that here, merely newly rusted 
shushing flakes of swingset.  Here the seed-blown
berries, pure red.  See & go in respect
of ways just-born to you, already treeing
up, resembling the me of you, from out
of this already you’re gone, not seeing 
how you seem to like love. 
                                                   Oof, the gut –
the gut welcomes and dissembles the heart,
reminds me all’s good, all’s good as my feet
claim a snail’s shell – bothers me, bothers me.



Derek Henderson lives with his wife and kids and cats in Salt Lake City, where he is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Utah. His work can be found in recent or forthcoming issues of VersalWith + StandDusieBateauParcelInterim and others. His favorite quote of the moment is Henry Miller’s injunction to Lawrence Durrell to “Let the angel be your watermark.”