Brenda Hillman

Radical Lads, Blisters & Glad Summers

       for MP

           Light the lamps for a government
      of impostors—; their background check
             will not work out.
The candidates start their idiotic speeches.
       Their speeches sound like: boing.
They sound like boing boing. They go boing-boing,
boing-boing-boing. Out on the coast, a
 yellow splits in two till only the visible
     remains: near the dairy, such a calm
    doctrine of mustard, a defensible
pageantry…underground, a host of black
      syllables, rushing to the tribes—;

     Walter Benjamin nods on the train;
 he makes it out of Portbou…O Europe, your
       childhood was a rupture: boys thrashing
through thickets, blisters on their knees,
thinking they would be safe in revolution
             with an art too difficult
    to be installed…& didn’t they care?
They still care.

Prince of Thursdays, the A
   gives its legs to Autumn, your O
to the osprey. You never
doubted poetry —anxiously
              taking vermillion tones past
 disappointed citizenship—

Brenda Hillman is the author of eight full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005), and Practical Water (2009). She teaches at St. Mary’s College of California where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry.