Beneath the Blast, by Stuart Dischell

After baiting the mousetrap with bacon fat
And setting it beside the pan where I see nose prints

Should I take the rodent perspective, following
Crumbs across the countertop in the dark kitchen

Or choose the voice of the evolved person, hairy
Only in remaining places, forever worrying?

When Jon wrote, “the secret of poetry is cruelty,”
I believe he meant something else that had to do with beauty.

Beauty. Cruelty.
It’s the smile of the wire that breaks your neck.


Stuart Dischell is the author of Good Hope Road, a National Poetry Series Selection, (Viking, 1993), Evenings & Avenues (Penguin, 1996), Dig Safe (Penguin, 2003), and Backwards Days (Penguin, 2007) and the chapbooks Animate Earth (Jeanne Duval Editions,1988) and Touch Monkey (Forklift, 2012). Dischell’s poems have been published in The AtlanticAgni, The New Republic, SlateKenyon Review, and anthologies including Essential Poems, Hammer and Blaze, Pushcart Prize, and Good Poems. A recipient of awards from the NEA, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, he teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Greensboro.

Check out Threnody, also by Stuart Dischell (Issue 5)

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