sporklet 2
Michael Snediker

(Three Poems)



            when my sugar


                        from the
                        rim of the well pours


            it neither plinks nor



like a coin
           in the sugar


           was suspended between itself;



           & my sugar






the dark waters right




They’re meeting in a town called Nevers, which, because we’re in France, is pronounced like a Norwegian saying no way. They’re living on a houseboat called Virtuous Attachment. They have fancy omelet dinners on a gratuitous waterbed. After a night meandering the cape, Virtuous Attachment is docked by morning like nothing happened but face masks and old movies. Like Margaret Fuller and a bowl of cherry tomatoes. We see right through it, bobbing one harbor over on a dinghy called Impressionable. In terms of see right though it, the seagulls are laughing again at my pareo. We take turns with opera glasses, strapped into the director’s chair like Hemingway after mahi. We take turns being Barbara Bel Geddes. Tonight’s special is red herring with a side of potatoes lyonaisse. One more seaweed boot and we have quorum. We’re running out of bigger bait. Meanwhile, my nubile New England pallor is the pink of clafoutis. Just because I’m the one pressing fingerprints into my own burnt chest doesn’t mean they’re not clues for something. You should try it, stop. Chad, meanwhile, grows further fulvous by the second, full stop. When he do the voodoo. When he clambers aboard deck, mint on his collar and grass stains on his cuff. The skinshine makes us squint. Not to mention those propitious little swim trunks. It looks like a hibiscus pattern. I knew his legs way back when. We’re going to make viewfinders for the apocalypse. We’re going to launch Platonic his and her fireworks to celebrate our three-week anniversary. From this point forward, everything will have been the future perfect tense. In this way, even talking about the future will have sounded deceptively nostalgic, like peeking out of the corner of your eyes while looking in the opposite direction. The ugly duckling’s first word was peep. I see you. Yes you (you’re adorable). Do you mind if we ask you some questions? Starting now, where will you have you been all my life?


Intelligence’s new porousness meant the world poured through it.
We found feathers in the forest, returned haunted, an expression


less of our limits than the limits of intelligence whistling in our ear,
pouring through us. Try to remember when it returns how it felt


in your hands, returned in stone and spoken as incantation (you might
have noticed  how little you were speaking). Intelligence


is like this, a souvenir cross commemorating some earlier cross,
& as an aid if not to devotion than the form of devotion, it returns


in amber, a gold bath, photograph of a cross submerged in piss,
and only in measuring the difference between pornography and art—


souvenir and expensive relic of the wreck of the Andrea Dorea—do we come
to understand intelligence  as the gold in which we’d floated.





1 She turned to meet the Ambassador and the Prince, who, their colloquy with their Field-Marshal ended, were now at hand and had already, between them, she was aware, addressed her a remark that failed to penetrate the golden glow in which her intelligence was temporarily bathed.

Michael D Snediker is the author of The Apartment of Tragic Appliances (Punctum Books, 2013), which was a Lambda Literary Award finalist, Queer Optimism: Lyric Personhood and Other Felicious Persuasions (U.Minnesota Press, 2009), and Contingent Figure: Aesthetic Duress from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (under contract, U.Minnesota Press). He's recently finished writing The New York Editions, a “translation" of Henry James's fiction into poetic forms. He's an associate professor of American Literature at the University of Houston.