Bruce Covey Poems



The Hunted and the Gathered


their faces study

the empty space

beyond the circumferences


as they move

they wear thinner

smoother, plainer    




Baseball Over, Haiti Invaded


They won’t let us in, we simply

force our way in, drifting

through the empty turnstiles, facing

the empty “circle” (not as valuable as a diamond)  [suggest delete or “not a diamond”

of the base paths, waiting for something to happen.          [base paths – two words]

They never let me on before, used

to announce over the PA anyone entering the field of play

after the conclusion of play

will be put away

only to be let out again one day.                                                                   [suggest delete as it breaks

Guards lined up facing me, facing        flow of PA announcement to my ear]

the red, orange, and blue fold-down seats,

waiting for something to happen, backs

to what was happening as the last gravitated ball arched directly +

into its leather home to be cuddled and carried

off the field and thrown into the bottom

of a locker. or supply cabinet.  Now there’s no one

to take my ticket, no one to say enjoy the game,  to say,  Bruce,

what are you doing there, son, to wipe

the seat free of rain and hold her hand out as I place

a dollar there and thank her.  Instead, I’m placed [Suggest delete and “Instead”]

into another field of play, where, in Port au Prince,

lined up 20 per circular degree, they collectively ask for my ticket,

their backs to the field of action. 

It’s blank like my scorecard, my banner,                              [delete comma after blank]

each of which had contained an elaborate objection,

a designed confession, now erased

like television static between innings.                                              

Something happening back there around the pitcher’s mound?

The milky white palace, white like a baseballpitcher of milk,                  [word choice –

like a milk cartonbaseball, rests center stage,

like a terrified child,

ready to throw or to be thrown to.              







In Nanjing, our guide told us

all of the bricks in the city wall

were handmade and signed

to ensure either their permanence

or the artist’s freedom.





Bruce Covey is Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University and author of three collections of poetry—The Greek Gods as Telephone Wires, Ten Pins, Ten Frames, and the forthcoming Glass Is Really a Liquid—all from Front Room Publishers.  His work also appears or is forthcoming in 26, Jacket, Explosive Magazine, Shampoo, MiPo, can we have our ball back?, puppyflowers, CrossConnect, Big Bridge, Word For/Word, GutCult, and other journals.




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