Issue 15 – Winter 2008 – Molly Bendall

Molly Bendall


Consider the Crusades

Given the speed of the seven in a row, I’d say      
     the skylarks would reach the lake

ahead of the others, intensifying their glee, buckling then, 
   like that, in a swoop-dare.

    From my lookout this vertigo—it’s special,
it’s in my own flesh.   

The ladder’s rickety, and that’s when particular life specks
could be left and I could return to a bauble from

way back, where the rusty gate placates me, calming notions.

When I embarked on the outer reaches, on a made-up
       star,  I too skewered a cyclops.

Our weapons—let’s see that they’re kept dry.
Once the young soldier was hung for desertion,
                wearing his farmer’s smock and suede slippers.

Drifting now and all those I might stretch for.



A False Wing

          So prompt the holiday
thought.  The smash-box

                must be a thing for subtleties.
            Let your touch 
be supposing.  Make him be

            able to understand dark questions.
Need spangles 
                            to decipher then fall on.
      Go modern 
                      with the sugar.  Then sixes,
take it in sixes.

           Napoleons to trout, not

forgetting the colorful root.
                                  May it all be hung
                with globes of light.
                            Then it can be anyone’s
     fool body.



Adventures on a Raft

A jigsaw leaf mumbled down and I thought
       last year’s fox would remember me.

I galaxied the whole path for myself—strewn now
    with dust drags and celestial spores.

  Then the lightning crazies up the street of  shops.

I might have been a fraud I’m saying in the bulky air, 
    too lazy to wish with music.

    And I didn’t  notice the crowd that had become
a parade no less.   It throbbed in crooked time.
In the square the monument of the general in its onyx misery
motioned for me to get moving.   

No one could understand such public worries.

The field reached long long behind the tracks
            and I could leave the here and now

laugh it into money, send it to the far hood of the mountains.



Molly Bendall is the author of three collections of poetry.  Her new volume Under the Quick will be appearing from Parlor Press in 2009.  She currently teaches at the University of Southern California.