Philip Nikolayev edits Fulcrum, an annual of poetry and aesthetics. His new collection of poems, Monkey Time, the winner of the 2001 Verse Prize, is forthcoming from Verse Press in October 2002.

About the Waterfront

Dozing off into fried dreams,
into dusks frittered
to bonne nuit, to Skeltonic
rhododendrons within
and without the
Boston's vegetal forceps in bloom,
of dactyloscopic rooks
on wires of air,
the tough tinsel nut
of modernity
hung thriving
on the thread of
a generation. How much more
scintillantly splenetic
could the ragamuffins
of electronics become? Where
to cast or not to cast
downtown ellipses of joyhood
to trucks of passersby
or behind the public gardens
in lanes of largesse
and others of fireproof
spring, strongbox
securities jacked up,
life going hand in hand
with economics.
The sky coat is spread
wetly over the scrapers.
In the earth
ballistic bulbs burgeon.
The spade bank
is full of spades.
Piers are pincers.
They are paroles.
They are
sunk to their barrels,
filled with seagull-squashed
linen sleep and aquatic
projections into
the cobalt blotting sun.

The Seeded Friend of Humankind is Cashed

The seeded friend of humankind is cashed,
but I have found a place where more is stashed,
a lab where every leaf is dried to that
word-perfect flam and readiness to act
on every syllable. The moot trapeze
of sense remotely utters thank you, please
and marches down directly to the page
to perpetrate its sensuous brigandage.
Semantic hemlocks melt to tilted tiles,
and titles brim with paratactic styles,
and elfin horses of the golden ring,
who come to spell a wish on everything,
gallop with lust and neighing through the bong,
god-naughty and immensely drawn to song.

A Sonnet in C

My dear printf, I never saw you skip
a newline when you found one in a file.
A non null pointer plugged into our while
loop } else if { as if, printf, to tip
the computational balance of my heart,
my file, my life, my method – and then some.
But how much memory, malloc’ed for their sum,
supplies me with this ability to insert
another leaf into a binary subtree of
og n complexity in one long thought,
which is not bad for huffy humans? God,
herein we input ardor of our love
and output selfless structs like battle shields
in your name on our spacious data fields.