“Against Surrealism” (Joseph Stroud)

“Against Surrealism”

On the road to Luang Prabang an elephant in chains stands on the flat bed of a truck shifting his weight at every bend over the river and under the trees where fox bats hang that in the market you can buy skewered on sticks grilled and dipped in a sauce of chilies and crushed limes next to river monitors living dragons their hind legs sewn together flicking blue tongues toward a stall stacked with bamboo cages the size of fists each with a swallow inside a gift for the New Year when you walk to the edge of the Mekong and make a wish opening the little cage like opening your fist your hand suddenly bursting with song.

—Joseph Stroud
—from Of This World: New & Selected Poems, 1966–2006

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *