New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

5 Poems from Steve Klepetar

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Steve Klepetar has recently relocated to the Berkshires in Massachusetts after 36 years in Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including three in 2017. Recent collections include A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps), and Why Glass Shatters (One Sentence Chaps).


The news,
well the news is terrible
as always,
a smorgasbord of suffering,
though someone famous
is getting married
and some teams won and lost

in this season, uncontrolled
by anything fair
or green
outside of the sun,
which appears infrequently
as a visitor who expects
to be lavishly entertained,

so I watch the trees
for what signs they have
to give, for their nods
and whispers,
rumors offered to startled
robins and nervous chickadees.

The Relevant Man

A river rushes close to houses
clinging to the hill. They are blonde
and pale. Some are green
with yellow shutters.
All tremble in the wind.

Now in the morning,
their windows have darkened.
A man limps
toward the tree line
holding a shovel and a bag.

His face vanishes in the haze.
Around his slender body, the waters rise.

Leaving Our Posts

We stepped out into snow and wind,
silent street with trees looming,
mountains wrapped in mist.
We tumbled backward
towards the coming spring.
I held you then as if your cold hands
would lead me to the pond,
where snow drifts and melts
on open water and among snaky reeds.
We tumbled and rolled, and our eyes
climbed above clouds.
Someone had named this storm
for a song, for a magical boy,
for a word that clinked in our mouths
like ice.
We are leaving our posts, going down
to where the river runs and old truths remain:
a body will freeze in a blizzard and be covered up by snow.

Lost Song

Maybe your eyes are made of mist.
They glisten above grass, they swell
in the young morning light.
Your hands may be baskets of moon,
your tongue a river or a road
slippery as glass. When your voice
returns to a mouth tasting of apples
and berries and wine, when your teeth
coalesce into pillars and statues
and Herms, then you will find the lost
song and its harmonies of joy.
Patient and wise, you will gather words,
a thousand Monarchs rising above
a swollen creek in the burgeoning spring.

By the Burial Ground

I waited for you
by the burial ground.
I waited for you to rise
through the earth.
All afternoon I sat
on rusted pine needles,
on soft moss,
on a rotting log, waiting
for you, hoping
for conversation beneath the trees.

As the light waned,
birds settled
on high branches,
gathered like a choir
in early spring.
Snow still covered the yard,
but the day was mild.
Even so, you would not come,
would not interrupt your long sleep,

not at this season
of the year,
not even when a hawk
drove the birds out
into the swell of evening,
not even then,
with the wildness of winter almost gone.


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