Michael Boughn

City II.2.iv —  Flirtations of light


scattered, broken on its

wheel, warming to sun’s wash

across their face is

as enlightened as

it gets

They swell

and hum

in stone-specific key

for ages

The city hears it

in crushed bones and up

through layers of accumulated


Does it buzz?

Is it

a beat in angel-thrummed

bridge wire? Morning kisses

and blushes

Bursting in another

direction toward earth

thrill, opening chosen in midst

of each habit


drops first,

then tulips, then

riot of shape and hew

petal-specific, fragrance passes

as reality once calculable

illusions are left in the dust

of city’s dream of dawn’s


How romantic is that, though

questions remain — where’s

are, who’s here, what’s


Getting to the arena on time

for example. And as Jack said

the Air Force Academy


that. Disposing of errant intrusions

of uncomfortable disposition

may obscure the question

but it lingers in moonlight’s foreshadowing

new nights in which night



shadow discriminations, leave

day loose among its bearings bringing

down the house of alternate

hands in a clamour of crashing
vanities of time and space


of water and stone is neither

name nor

outcome, but that doesn’t mean

it can’t be heard in time between

time’s tapping out unlikely

licks.  Sheer vibratory overload

hums trajectories – trajections, really,

story’s arc, costly delusion


this together has brought

into law

of horizon’s  subtraction

The law

of horizon’s subtraction doesn’t

hum, more of a drone, sound

of leaden with gratuitous

overtones to lend

a blush to semblance

of alive

The Air Force

Academy remains the joker

ubiquitous sign of not just limit

but eventual embrace necessary

to resuscitation of transparent

medium as a vehicle for open

horizons to possible reach

into edge

Beyond is another

matter displacing misleading

metaphors but refusing to budge

from top of the sentence

still promising a period

It’s all

so clear until the city

enters through back

door resembles nothing

so much as familiar

turn of phrase

What is the colour

of stars and what happened to terraces

as determinants of urban splendour

take us to new encounter

with question of remains

clinging to flirtation which assumes

an aura of uneasy


Then the Air Force

Academy glows well beyond

antithetical absence and hums

a few bars of

off we go

into the wild blue yonder

before admonishing

bound earth

fantasies to give it up


is another name for that as it

leaves Yankee rock piles

trying to catch wheels spinning

madly down the road and reeling

from metaphor to mixed


Giving it a name

flirts, a brush

of light on neck’s curve or glass

tower’s face

and if Martians land

in the sentence, it’s because

invasions happen and only a fool

would say no

No, not a fool

who is another name for it

but a hunger

artist starving for the glory

of pain bound refusal buttressed hard

case anthem

In the second town

Martians walk down Bloor

and no one thinks twice about loon

call rings the air out

of blue to new attention

Michael Boughn was described in the Globe and Mail as “an obscure, veteran poet with a history of being overlooked.” He spends much of his time in hockey arenas in dubious corners of Toronto.

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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.