Poems by Charles Fort

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The Vagrant Hours


The month of sonnets:
The long distance runners roamed the hills
recited their poems in the afternoon and kissed.
The poet-professor in corduroy cuffed pants
daydreamed of the evening flask of black whisky
his night watch over the hour glass of metaphors.
The young men were cumbersome in their stalls.


The month of sestinas:
The charm of lovers against the burred ivy walls
held the riddle of sixes and coaxed the student’s heart
to a blackboard of pentagrams and tarot flames in
The griot’s basket of apples, chestnuts, and maple
held back the screen door of their teacher’s writing
The young women were cumbersome in their shawls.


The month of villanelles:
The young poet nods off in the back of the classroom
and a wooden pointer curled the cowlick on his head.
He was made to stand before the assembly and sing.
With long shadows and wings of the runners on the
into November’s end and the town clock’s vagrant

he lowered his head and begged a rhyme scheme for