The Third Rail

By Bill Yarrow


sure history has been here before



the clean-fingered citizens


recognize that even as

the clawing quiet


at the knots

of our exhaustion


it’s a matter of Sphinx

and larynx

it’s a matter of saddling

the moment

it is necessary to find

new mirrors to stare into—for they meant

no harm—just obedience



(if you can) that magnitude into escape


writhe! writhe, comely life!


handsome is

as handsome                   does


freedom is

for those who have their                        stars

under control


tolerance has no

bounds—that seems to bother you


greed has

no bounds—that does bother me


Absolute freedom within relative


is espoused by the mutually



with the onset

of Neanderthal                   thunder

comes a Renaissance



somewhere down the line

a snarling dog in the darkness



for a raccoon to leap the fence


somewhere in the visible distance

a stubby shortstop steadies himself


for a high line drive


the moon


bored listening

to the lies

of men


turns its attention to the sea


+ moves

all the purple fish        around


an acorn grows into a tree:

it doesn’t turn into a tiger!


as my neighbor says

forget getting anywhere

—just keep running


we have reached
our goal


yes we have reached
our goal


and it is empty

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