Self-Portrait 1921, Salvador Dalí

out of cross-hatch
shadow from under
that battered hat brim
cast your cool eye
on everything more weighty
than my usual flux
smoke one last pipe
for the old meisters
before you melt the past

Flaming June, Museo de Arte, Ponce

Under honeycomb skylights
pale European faces bathe in mellow
light, the attenuated Burne-Jones
with demon eyes, the heavy, staring
women, finally the burning orange
maiden, dumb with sleep and heat.
She disturbs, as the vulnerable disturb,
yet she lies proof against all violation
but our avid eyes that drink her gold.

All Day

All day heavy air hangs dense as ripe fruit,
birds absent in silence, cats watch from the porch
waiting, all of us, for whatever comes next, not
from us but at us out of this thick fug of present
moment that may wring itself out over already
saturated sand and soil, already dripping plants,
then as we wait, slowly the sense of arrival eases,
the storm moved off this shore now pounding
somewhere else. What hovers then is another’s
suffering, unacknowledged even by keyboard click,
without feeling lucky, only lucked out this time,
without feeling sorrow that is tsunami by now,
surely, the devouring wave of film after film,
headline after headline, until reaction drowns
before impact, yet the barometric shifts register
in bone even without immediate thunder.


I come home early
and alone
night’s sun still
riding high
a silver
sliver haloed
the moon will fall
a fine enough
day I will be
glad to sleep
the Pleiades slip down
youth gone
long since
is this relief?
in small hours
empty hours
a delicate thread
spins from my
I wake again
to the solitary orb

Author’s Biography

A.B. Emrys’ criticism and creative work has appeared in many journals, ranging from Prairie Schooner to Danse Macabre, and most recently in The New Southern Fugitives.