D.E. Steward

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Rusted Out

It’s spring now so his greasy
Tan and olive nylon winter cap
Hangs mid-dash on something
That’s probably a plastic Jesus
Or St. Christopher or a beanbag
Ashtray iconic of his innerself
Defiantly messy and unshaved
Flooring his station wagon taxi
Blown muffler and low rear tire
A gesticulator in the next lane
On Autoroute Chomebey points
And he hyperbolically ignores
But pressed shouts “slow leak”
Hammers on to Aéroport Mirabel


One spoke out minus an arm and a leg
“I believed there would be some pain but  
that immediately I would be in heaven”
Small IEDs are often set at crotch height
Full frontal blasts a detail usually unstated
Maimed and mangled journalistic coverage
Goes only so far or we might question more 

Jody Song

Upstream from the Stone Bridge at Manassas
Startled at a kingfisher’s rattling blue passage
Diluting the stickiness of the baraka left here
The innocent naiveté perpetual in war’s lethality
By the clumsy assertiveness of adolescent boys
The filth and squalor of amoebic dysentery clap
Unnerving one-on-ones with sergeants in the field
The terror of field officers’ goof-ball careerism
And the staff corporate-mindset vague oblivious
The military stance that so absent-mindedly kills
Bull Run’s perpetual repeat count cadence count
Oblivious dumb ignorance in all outside its ken


D. E. Steward writes serial month-to-month poems with 353 months to date, has published many of them and a lot of fiction and poetry, along with a novel, Contact Inhibition (1985), before he began on his months project thirty years ago. Evan S. Connell’s seminal Notes from a Bottle Found on the Beach at Carmel and Peter Handke’s Paris writing got him started on the months project.