Gerard Czerwien
from Cento Magazine

His Mispronounced Character


moved through the dry country

past the miles of mesquite and scrub

over the hard compacted soil and the occasional


which stood near a spring pool of water


as the sunlight failed

he unrolled his bed

and arranged it near the fire where

he would assemble his thoughts

and a modest meal

of potatoes and beans



he smoked and watched the fire

slowly burn out

he walked to the edge of his camp

and pissed

said goodnight to the gods

he presumed

watched over this land and

laid on his back to

stare at the sky.



he slept soundly

others he heard


howling high

up in the surrounding hills

where he imagined them

clustered at the verge of the rim

the largest breaking the silence of the night

with a long, sharp, accented wail

its head thrown stiffly back

pointed at everything

he thought about to himself.


not having spent enough time on the earth

and thinking he could not

he phrased each encounter with revolutionary deference

his opinions all dusty

and quiet as

he chose to reveal his published mind

in parts.

from the man of sonora and the heated desert floor

came the remarkable conclusion of half life

strengthened by the advance of his age and

the infatigable collectors of irony

and champions of metaphor

who like himself

decided that language was its own just reward.


--for Ed Dorn