Two Poems – Joseph V. Milford

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To Antigone

I am not your postmodern friend.

Shaman in your cloud is not my

Credit fraudman. Stun-gun and rubber

Bullet and imp lamentations vs. polyester

Coffins you erect in. Vociferous was

A light touch for you. You hung yourself

From the afters. From the four X befores.

I could not behoove it. Fibers of forensics

And junkyards in orbit. The toothpicks made

From the splintered pulpits. Contracts

To the cosmos signed in floods. Layered

With ilk to the quick. I want to strip you

Down to the hone. I want to slaptize

You. I want to call you all the names

Of reptile pets. I want you to develop

Your internal muscles by Hegeling.

I cast a shadow over the mooncrater

Of your sad birth. Toss candybar wrapper

And soda bottle in it. Walk towards

A better view of the earth, something

With less gravity.



The Point

Once there was an obelisk.

Men desired to climb it.

It was sharp on top.


No place to perch.


Men tried to climb and sit on it

For centuries and bled.

This was called war.


Men climbed it and

Jumped from its peak

Counting the seconds as they fell,


And this was called science.

Some who sat at the bottom

Convinced other men to climb it;


That was religion.

The first poets

Drank the blood dripping


From the obelisk and made a tongue.


Then the obelisk

Was sideways:

A compass rose.


This obelisk

Made language;

It is only fitting


That we write

And bleed

Around it,


Staring agog, wondering

How to make

A better model.

Joseph Victor Milford is a Professor of English and a Georgia writer. His first collection of poems, Cracked Altimeter, was published by BlazeVox Press in 2010. He is the host of The Joe Milford Poetry Show, a co-founder of BACKLASH PRESS, and the editor of RASPUTIN: A Poetry Thread (a literary journal of poetry).


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