sequences of poems in Chromatic explore
the full range of effects caused by human desire,
from ecstasy to suffering.
H.L. Hix has published numerous
books of prose and collections of poetry. Recent
titles include As Easy As Lying: Essays on
Poetry (2004), the anthology Wild and
Whirling Words (2004), and the collection
Shadows of Houses (2005), all published
by Etruscan Press. He teaches at the University
articles by Hix. www.pshares.org
From Chromatic by H. L. Hix
All Rights Reserved
Prelude and Fugue No.
2 in C minor
My cold dark salty desire: schools of krill spilled
silver from light to light: whales jailing krill
in bubbles before bursting on them from below:
invisible algae and plankton suffusing the whole:
seaweed waving goodbye goodbye: jellyfish these
floating moons morsing your name here where it
cannot be spoken: sperm whale fighting squid to
the death far below any light: penguins sliding
off ice into might as well be: elephant seals
swimming deeper than radio signals can sink goodbye
goodbye: orcas close to ice cruising for antarctic
cod: cephalopods signalling complex codes of color
and gesture: crinoids fanning for algae in eerie
light beneath the ice: swollen tubeworms swaying
over volcanic vents: luminous fish as far below
day as stars stay above it: orcas bobbing up to
peer across the ice then sending signals with
their intricate exhalations.
he asked me and
I said no which was a half-truth
half a truth was all I had all love left me
I am myself a half-truth now whatever I was before
whatever I was when I thought I never lied
before I learned I always had lied to him and
before I learned love itself is only half a truth
before I learned there are no whole truths
nothing that guileful god flaw has not fondled
of our ascertainings our words our bodies
before I knew I didn’t want the
not because I couldn’t bear it I can’t
bear what I am now
but because the me who thought she was telling
also thought she could be satisfied
and this me can’t bear the half-self love
after it asked what it asked and I said no
- Shadows of Houses.
Etruscan Press (2005).
- Surely As Birds
Fly. Truman State University Press (2002).
- Rational Numbers.
Truman State University Press (2000).
- Perfect Hell.
Gibbs Smith (1996).
- On the Way Home:
An Anthology of Contemporary Estonian Poetry.
Translated with Jüri Talvet. Sarup &
Sons (forthcoming 2006).
- A Call for Cultural
Symbiosis: Meditations from U. Jüri Talvet.
Guernica Editions (2004).
City of Ash. Eugenijus Ališanka. Northwestern
University Press (2000).
- As Easy As Lying:
Essays on Poetry. Etruscan Press (2002).
William H. Gass. University of South Carolina
W.S. Merwin. University of South Carolina
- Spirits Hovering
Over the Ashes. SUNY Press (1995).
- Morte d'Author:
An Autopsy. Temple University Press (1990).
- Wild and Whirling
Words. Etruscan Press (2004).
- A Casebook on
The Tunnel. Web-published, Dalkey Archive
- Poets At Large:
25 Poets in 25 Homes. Helicon Nine (1997).