From The Tenement Sonnets

Not what we once were, wrapped tight in stinging
nettles, lottery cards etched in bad blood
upon our skins. Writhing, we lost ourselves
and balanced on wires like birds – as we were –
catastrophe awaited us. If hard pressed,
I’d speak a name or three, but climb too far
into the twilight of my obsessions
and you’ll find me standing all by myself.
After all was said and done, we drove out
to the point to look deep into the dark
depths of the bay. The sun had disappeared
from view, but it wasn’t too late to see
across to home, not yet, and though we spoke
in crippled tongue, we still knew a few words.



M. Bartley Seigel is the author of This Is What They Say (poetry, Typecast Publishing, 2012). His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Forklift Ohio, H_NGM_N, Lumberyard Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, and numerous elsewheres. He is founding editor and publisher of PANK Magazine, co-publisher of Tiny Hardcore Press, and teaches at Michigan Technological University. He lives with his family in Houghton, Michigan, and sometimes in Tartu, Estonia.