The 2River View 22.4 (Summer 2018)

James Miller

August 2017

On inauguration day, I promised a poem
every Tuesday,
          for the duration.

The fourteen that followed?

Last night’s sirloin
left a stain in the center
of our favorite pan.

There is no sign of the frogs
that lived under the hedge
early this summer. 

Would that I could feed
the wasps, fill up their maws
with fray and trace:
paper for their cozy nests.

Years ago I heard the Quakers say:
          Woe unto the bloody city
          of Lichfield! 

I would ask for less.

A rustling and a supping.
                    Beetles drowsed
                    in their gloaming damp.

Two Approaches to Dead Time


The train to Chicago,
on the South Shore Line
from Hammond—

you’re hobbling past harrowed
households, slow enough
to look again.

But don’t.  One glance
will call down the flames,
melt swingsets to holy sonnets.


Wal-Mart parking lot, 8:32 PM, scoring
isopropyl and applicators for the show.
Black car: its low engine

thin as metro popcorn sludge.
He rattles and stops ten feet away,
slams and stands.  Gun, or gurn?

Two handfuls of heikegani burp
from his bowels, scatter among
monster trucks and Christmas carts.     .

James Miller is a native of Houston. His most recent poems have appeared in Bird’s Thumb, Boston Accent, Burnt Pine, Cold Mountain Review, Gyroscope, Lullwater Review, The Maine Review, Plainsongs, Straight Forward Poetry, Sweet Tree Review, and The Tishman Review.

<< Michael Lauchlan
Karen June Olson
Copyright 2River. Please do not use or reproduce without permission.