Christopher Cessacs book REPUBLIC SUBLIME won the Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry. His work has appeared in The Antioch Review, Black Warrior Review, Cimarron Review, Kenyon Review, Sycamore Review and elsewhere. One of his poems won the 2006 Pelleas Long Poem Contest sponsored by The Modern Review, and another was chosen to introduce the book RIO GRANDE, an anthology of prose including work by Larry McMurtry, John Reed, Américo Paredes, Woody Guthrie, Molly Ivins and others.
We lie to our young. Exiled
to define us. Glorious dust,
Milton Volunteer Fire Department,
hammering out of our owne hearts,
of new misery to our selves,
The Argument: youhalf-full glass
as any godmaintain skies dull as mud
the overbearing allure of life...
efficient, material, formal, finalconclude
Mammon and Moloch throw the best parties,
beyond our perception. Wisdom? Years and age
Limitations of space forbid full disclosure.
villains and heroes, the rush and lag of youth...
in Louisiana is no more alone
has always been our best opportunity
hand in hand with wandring steps and slow...
unendurable grace of pure desire: Easier
endlessly, knowledge, the fall, blah, blah,
These too-measured portions of happiness
Homer, one more Greek Revival
to what? Doric columns, two stories, etc.
pork-barrelling mercantile fantasies,
capital gain, another lost cause, one more
Should we abandon our meager libraries
is cause for rebellion. Were all veterans
versus the next moment. Stop. Come,
to Virgil, slow through ice and wind,
comfort and comfort is good
on occasion. Occasionally, to prove
we do just as our ancestors: we choose
and call it faith or love or fate. Less myth
and groan and howl, the smallest sounds
from any library: Horace or Sappho
or the next moment. Stop. Consider
fighting chaos and evil to the end
was to fail before chaos and evil. Homer,