PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Beverley Bie Brahic, after Leopardi's 'Broom' Michael Freeman Benefytes and Consolacyons Miles Burrows At Madame Zaza’s and other poems Victoria Kenefick Hunger Strike Hilary Davies Haunted by Christ
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This article is taken from PN Review 82, Volume 18 Number 2, November - December 1991.

Urphänomen John Burnside


SUNDAY; the word in Greek for transmigration; missals of feast days in scarlet ink: Laetere, Rogation, Quasimodo. All afternoon it was morning in America: quiet water falling on the Lakes, fog in the redwoods, the gold leaf of sunlight on Salem and Mariposa. I did my homework in the kitchen, memorizing the sub-families of Liliaceae and the Latin subjunctives, drawing frogs and cocos seeds, becoming the dusk by degrees as it seeped through the twigs and streetlamps on Fulford Road, a grey I assigned to the soul in scripture books, the sly persistence of a non-existent world, filling my daydreams with old-fashioned tinsel and crime.


I think too long about the road and it disappears in a shimmer of fernleaves and headlamps. In the soft hiss of the terminus a fat girl is practising dance steps by the light of the Budweiser sign; another girl asks for 50c and I give her a dollar. Between stops the road recurs, like the wind, or radio waves. I read about those who have vanished: she drove to the store for some beer; he stopped on the way for a magazine - I think too long about the road: that taste of the possible, half diesel, half amyl nitrate. Every night I go home in the lilac rain; every morning I go to work, but I always think of walking away, to the absolute motionless summer of inexistence.


Discontent. ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image