Charlotte Mandel


On Reading Edna St. Vincent Millay While Watching CNN
                                                     Sonnet clxviii

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines...
let him...ape... fire, and demon:
she assigns
metrical drum to Furies, inner rage
re-decibeled to sing upon the page—
a poet's ardent war.
                                                I conjure global
chaos in close up, shocked awed gaze enmeshed
in smoke—which fuel burns as black—oil or flesh?
Red glares of rockets whirling disco strobes.
Headlines loop round the tape    Mayhem    Anarchy
say captions in show & tell synecdoche.
How to confine in form both love and grief—
suspend—in what is real—my disbelief?
Alphabet spins to suffer loss as gain.
A torn I. V. dangles from a child's vein.

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