The HyperTexts

Jesse Anger

Jesse Anger is a poet, folk musician and audio-engineer. He juggles fatherhood, university classes and pins. His poems have appeared recently in Arc, Kin, The Raintown Review, Measure, Angle, Shot Glass, Fib Review, Buoy, Soundzine, IthacaLit, The Headlight Anthology, Rotary Dial and The Void. You can find more of his poetry at his blog A Loom In The Dark.

Pushtoke Dawn 
Smokers sketch-out on the corner 
and sirens beat the flickering air
like frantic hands. Peeling posters
gone sepia over time—blank stares.
Head for 20 bones. Void
transfers twist, and gutter-leaves
elicit fear. The paranoid
pick up pirate frequencies—
Shadow-wars under the cars,
prying eyes in every tree.
The Jesus complex streaming in—
God’s trigonometry.
In fetid alcoves smokers pace
figure 8-balls in their heads.
Jokers, knaves, hookers, fakes.
As dawn dissolves they crack their necks
and flail their pockets for a piece:
scrape and trick and steal or pick—
anything to hear God’s voice
while sucking on the Devil’s dick.

Originally published in The Raintown Review

Still Life
Only the graves are still
behind a blur of trees,
black and white and still
as absences they grieve—
the absences they leave,
kept adamant in stone
behind the blurring trees,
still as lines in stone.
All that’s left is gone.
To still that which has moved
we leave behind a stone— 
all that we have loved
is still behind the trees,
where absences will fill
bare branches with leaves.
Only the graves are still.

Originally published in Angle

The Hanged-Man
To mouth this unformed hollowness
where does one begin?
Hands that brush the tall road-grass,
lines that glyph and thin,
channels carved across the palm—
branching divination.
White-rose heart. Beaten ring.
Arching yews. A wing.
The cold castle battlement.
Intermittent war.
The voice that slowly holed a stone—
the same voice as before
winding round the stair in shadow
winding round the stair.
Here a fool is growing wise
then sentient, then clear.
Knees bent, sin bent, lowered
in a peepshow prayer.
Nothing is still moving here
and nothing is still there.

Originally published in Measure


When we were young
the world was small.

A few long blocks
and that was all.

But now the world
is smaller still—

a mote in a beam
by the window sill.


Spirits thin out through the air,
lurking where the lamplight glows.
I wait: a late night passenger.

Empty platform. Phantom train—
trouble on the tracks again.
Dead wind's shroud, a flawed man's breath,

the specter of exhaled regret
clearly hung upon the night,
refracted in the halide light,

rising like a eulogy,
catching on the limbs of trees,
hung in rags. And over me—

The coldest night of winter hums.
I feel my bones and blood and flesh.
I see a ghost in every breath.

Originally published in Shot Glass


We've all got bones under our skin—
skeletons within.

Nakedness deceives as much
as mirror-masks and such.

Disguised by soft intonation,
under conversations

pitched light, lie these restless bones,
my own. A broken home,

a silence quickened in the room.
The cold window moon.

My inner space, the keep of fear,
the ringing in my ear.

Wired to the naval wheel,
under towed, pitched and reeled

and spindled down into the hold—
God, these bones are old.

The cold reply resurfaces,
the skull-hollow thing

that seeks to void, and sucks to dine—
The still-born alive.

Here is where it all begins.
Exhume them. Hang them in

rings. String them into chimes.
Remember them sometimes.

Originally published in Soundzine

Evening Bird

An evening blue,
you sink into.

A lone songbird
gets no reply.

I scribble
to decodify,

not loneliness—
but near the edge

a long sad note
bends at the bridge.

A deeper sound.
The clouds lapis.

A silent pause.
A roaring jet,

no reply
no regret.


A cello bowed and dark sienna tulips
are moods.

Balsam creeps and hangs in the humid air.
A spice.

The mighty green and sour brine of seas
are prayer.

The red rock near the road and wind-shaped pines
are home.

A raven with a whitened wing at noon alights.
A shadow.

The broad-winged hawk that dives sheer from the wire
is waking.

Slow escalators crawling from the lowest tracks
are dreams.

The weight that swells the round of brushed eyelids
is lilac.

The Spirit Fisher

A Heron in the rushes
spreads his slow blue wings
which sound out in the air
like match-struck gasoline.

My bone voices go whispering—
that Heron in the rushes
is wisdom wading shallows
round the river's edge.

An Onondagan choir
sings octaves in my blood.
The Heron, in a rush
of windless stirring, above.

The spirit fisher drives
the dry-brushed pastel dusk,
the drummers' voices higher.
Herons never rush.

Originally published in Lucid Rhythms


More of a spirit than a cat—
distilled wilderness
stalks among the stunted pines;
hunter in the mists.

Underneath snow-rounded boughs,
steps mercurial
seldom trace the shape of sound,
light, ethereal.

Predator of essences,
your amber eyes, fierce
as fire, swiftly, effortlessly
sweeping as they pierce ...

Ghost-cat of the boreal,
seeing and unseen
hunts a subtler prey, by feel
along the edge of dream.

Originally published in Lucid Rhythms

The HyperTexts