Au Fond du Minervois | Charles Tarlton | Poetry

O direction and pomposity!

Near the stony city of Minerve

where ripe figs fall to the sidewalk

for anyone to gather and eat

and the mysteries of life and death 

were all erased like chalk marks

from a blackboard, by consecutive 

rifle shots that killed exactly two birds

(somehow that second bird had failed

                        to fly away)

and the voice of the old neighbor

scolded, spittle in the corners

of her mouth. “They’ll never

get the chance to sing now, you horrid

                                little boys.”

Photo by Ian Kirkland on Unsplash


Charles Tarlton is a poet living in Old Saybrook, Connecticut with his wife, Ann Knickerbocker, an abstract painter, and their two standard poodles, Nikki and Jesse. He has a Ph.D. from the University of California, at Los Angeles, and has taught at Berkeley, the University of Victoria, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, the University at Albany, New York, and the University of Malta. His poems and flash fictions have appeared in 84 journals, including Ekphrastic Review, Rattle, Blackbox Manifold (UK), Ilanot Review (Israel), London Grip (UK), The Journal (UK), Innisfree Poetry Journal,(Eire), Thick Jam, Spinoza Blue, Bookends. In addition, he has published seven print collections of his poetry and ekphrasis.

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