voices out of the West, mostly poetry, personal to planetary...

Bruce Berger

Aspen, Colorado


Bruce Berger's poems have appeared in Poetry, The New York Times, Barron's and numerous literary quarterlies, and have been collected in Facing the Music. Recipient of the Western States Book Award and the Colorado Book Award, he lives in Aspen, Colorado.


Atrophy Homes

by Bruce Berger

Stags from the foundry bugle the front door.

Drifts of shingle veined with chromium drainpipe

Part for the heaven-storming atrium where

Bolts from a cirro-stratus chandelier

On a timer stoke the drama of a staircase

That gyres around a ficus someone dusts.

Failing daylight cues the copper coachlights.

Well-sculpted if unlettered gapes the mailbox.

Come Christmas, braced for with a spangled spruce,

The demigods descend, luscious in fur,

Spilling gifts for caterers, the au pair,

The startled mailman. Corks and snowballs soar,

Ski boots splash the pantry, lights are switched

By rosy flesh, garage doors rise and fall,

The structure blazes like a desert casino.

Before the demigods touch back once more

Come summer, mowers call and edgers keen,

Glads already blossoming take root,

Rackets and clubs deplane, skateboards leap,

Security can relax. And here and there,

Whelmed amid the dormered embassies,

The spec palazzi and half-timbered keeps,

Heirs of the mullioned, dark, eleven-room

Pinched originals that set this pace

Way back, finding their robber baronage

Jet-setted, jettisoned and plain displaced

By its own theme, can hear their deadliest

Epithets -- Conspicuous Nonconsumption,

Venture Vernacular, Geek Revival --

Die among poodled shrubs as if among

Aisles of an unpopular museum,

Its rotely dusted racks of inscribed cups,

Its bodiless pronghorn gazing with glass eyes.


                          Appeared first in The Geography of Hope is a non-commercial project, an online anthology, to share a poetic vision of the land we love.

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