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Brent Short Poetry


by Brent Short

Under its starry arch
where we cross
the vaulted abyss,
its own insistent mix
of darkness and light,
velvety curtain,
a difficult work,
darker possibility,
moment interminable
demanding a stricter faith.

Wall of black, dead bliss,
profound allness,
an endlessness
teeming with stars,
the darker metaphor,
a gauntlet, bowl of fire,
dark brilliant secret,
what comes before dawn,
but never
the vivid world of day.

With its turned back,
stars turn on their pivot,
all honeycombed and sparkle—
an inky iridescence
where the earth
has fallen away.

peeking over the rim,
infinite roar of an infinite sea,
a gleaning of luminous things,
lit trellis, a vast mind pouring
over my head like water,
light and darkness
flowing irresistibly
toward the other.

fields of cold, clear light,
orchard of stars,
all-encompassing wheel,
all that’s lost,
journey’s end,
the dark invisible,
the nothing that is—
looking up, night
is a long way down.


Thunder claps
extending out into an expanse,
between where I look
and the mountains’ distant flash,
where jagged streaks ignite
a vast exposure—
this x-ray of a town
flooded in a riot of light.

In the earth’s dark shudder
there’s a passing through
of uncertainty and surprise,
picked up
and set down,
as if this place
was already what I left behind,
somewhere else,
a disappearing vibration,
lost inside the sound
of its own dark crash—
the night’s arc
all grimace,
no sound,
the sky ripping,


A cracked sky
swallowed by
cracked light,
the invisible as it splits,
an upheaval and buckling,
vibration broadcasting forward,
earth and sky
filling with the sound
of their own dislocation—
all shudder,
a discrete space disturbed,
erupting into
its own contradiction,
a peel of terror
slammed against dark air,
cleaving, the world moving off its spot—
what I call out to there
inside the breach,
rumble and flash,
inside the throat
of that hollowed black echo.


Brent Short lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. His poetry chapbook, The Properties of Light was published in 2015 by Green Rabbit Press. His poetry has appeared in Eads Bridge Literary Review, Sandhill Review, Tar River Poetry, Saint Katherine Review, The Windhover, Amethyst Review, San Pedro River Review and The Orchards Poetry Journal.