ISSUE THREE
May 1998

David Sutherland


THE CORTLAND REVIEW

INTERVIEWS
 
R.T. Smith

POETRY
 
R.T. Smith
  Muffy Bolding
  John Kinsella
  Richard Foerster
  A.F. Moritz
  Miriam Levine
  Louis Armand
  David Shevin
  Stellasue Lee
  Adrian C. Louis
  David Sutherland
  Gregory Djanikian
  Paolo M. Bottigelli

REVIEWS
 
J.M. Spalding
  R.T. Smith

ESSAY
 
William Heath

FICTION
 
Douglas Thornsjo

bit.gif (43 bytes) David Sutherland reports: my poetry has seen good distribution in journals, reviews and magazines. Recent pieces of mine have appeared in The Hollins Critic, Anthology, The Trincoll Journal and The Fairfield Review. Further, I am the managing editor for Recursive Angel and have recently published a collection of verse called Between Absolutes, by Menace Publishing of Alexandria Virginia.
Laughter of the Loon    Read Along with the Author


To be certain that our dual nature
of experience is

no less mutable than a fern's
reflection off a lake, or

a sunfish purporting magnitude
with glimmer in shoal.

One can easily believe a snowfall
or rolling mist is muted

under thunderous sky,
and that nature aided with spells

hides half its ecstasy, half its pain.
A subject of lucid reality

personifies wisdom for an owl's
brass cooing, hypnotized

in its ritual marriage
to field mouse, engaged

in as sweet a horror to this
dimunitive sense of self

left staring at midnight,
amoral, untamed.

 

 

Deep Adjustments    Read Along with the Author


Naked as pearl this imbroglio
of images, scenes and predilections
flash like a minnow racing shore,
or fades as a bullfinch caw across field,
or stretches as the drum's grip
the leather grip of skin in palm
returns the bone's pearl.

Naked our grasp of eternal baths and faults
dashed on teething stones and
balled into fetal rounds.
As nothing of nothing moves closer, come closer . . .
Deep adjustments are coming
gratis pro Deo,
deep adjustments are needed.

Flipside? A linear world of start and stop characters,
the Gunga Din of a brothel's salvation.
Flip-side rapture's cuisine, a fete' dull to palate,
abstract and damn unpopular.

Served in atmospheric tranquility of a sleeping god,
whose eyes must be sunlight,
whose teeth must be rain.
Offered in the finest dream-like nativity
with dinner bell and bauble and shining
throat of celestial body, swallowed
from memory menu and guest, both
less than gracious, naked as pearl.

 

 

Dasein     Read Along with the Author


In bright halts of petals and wreaths
in a palanquin's sleeping cargo
we bound madly in half embrace
trade downhill with up.

In bright halts of petals and wreaths
a vivid scene of floating calm
twists on a reed's helix of turns
and rolls across subtle, imageless thoughts
into gravity's journey downhill.

In vivid halts of petals and wreaths,
in each breath we exhale,
speak soft in warm ennobling cadence
for a world descends in perfect grief.
A perishing vision sees
what can't be seen, as I envision
these startling petals and wreaths,
retribution failing to flit its harp
or stage its muse. Here its mimic,
an imperfect order draws darkness
over no less profound a heart.
What will not burn, we set to fire;

what can't be held send
into sleep, into turn by gentle turn
of ring worn age, covetable grace
beauty, sadness and you spread
over this air-woven awning of clouds
to defy life's strange author
whose groves we supplant
with unchallenged wind.

In brights halts of petals and wreaths
what can't be tasted, swallow
what can't be said, speak.
Sow only shadows into moonlight,
plant only love, as regret
starts each day at sunset.

 

 

Shakespeare, Semaphore    Read Along with the Author


Sometimes, sometimes a gesture
mitigates its efficacy to a moments' humility,
breathes, revives, lifts the color, odor, taste
and weightless hand of a child
onto the lap of another.
With palm still open, there is forgiveness,
with heart still pure, there is compassion,
enough to brush away tongue over effeminate lips,
and sashay across the room to a man
whose ruddy manners and thick arms
pause to comb a marcel of weaves.
Hair passing through demeanor
and discordant sighs.

Sometimes, sometimes one discovers
lifes' irreverence in deep reflection,
learns to lay naked and exposed
like a prima donna whose cautious cries
miserably pleasure or ambush a soul.
All a child's naivety

now an adult's pathology
of red lines and lips and fine cuntshapes,
mulattoes pressed in chocolate,
hot cellophane eyes and ears that wrinkle
like cat-mouthed tigers on licorice hard thighs.

Something one can touch, feel or hear
when the shingling, bobbing, bleeding stops,
or the tell-tale lariat chokes up its ecstasy,
or the bouffant falls woeful against cheek.
Into a mouth of speckled vein and teeth,
tongs that bites down to tell me,
"One is only dreaming," yet aware its a signal,
a boys' sign to sleep.

 

 

David Sutherland: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue ThreeThe Cortland Review