Trio House Press
Publishing distinct voices in American poetry

X-Rays and Other Landscapes by Kyle McCord

Kyle McCord is the author of five books of poetry, including National Poetry Series Finalist Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders (Trio House Press, 2016).  He has work featured in AGNIBlackbirdBoston ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewThe Harvard ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewPloughsharesTriQuarterly, and elsewhere.  He has received grants or awards from The Academy of American Poets, The Vermont Studio Center, and the Baltic Writing Residency.  He serves as Co-Executive Editor of Gold Wake Press.  He teaches at Drake University in Des Moines, where he lives with his wife, visual artist Lydia McCord, and son, August.

My Father Considering His Brain Scan

                                                                 

 

No clouds just the wickless horizon

like a Rothko black on black

 

an unfeeling wall of pigment

why not junipers here

 

why not wands of cowbane and waterdock

tracing riverbeds on the leaden hill

 

it’s tough not to read this

dark matter as allegory

 

my cancer is thick and undulating

the invisible weight of nebulas

 

what part of me is left in this image

let’s redraft

 

think Seurat’s “Grande Jatte”—

a young mother to parade

 

swarming leaves

the yacht doubled

 

and swimming in the waters

children who will not be mastered—

 

anything but what is there reality

so dull when one can bargain with paint—

 

the boy whose swan body could carry him

far beyond the canvas ship

 

if only these winds were fair if only

these waters would still

 

the boy could outswim this current

I would paint him crabapples

 

fallen in a ditch eat of them

boy and know nothing