From "Nothing Epic: The Complete Gaha Noas Zorge"

Mother! Father!
Your names ring
Like artillery fire.

You move
towards me
& throw yourselves down
on my right
& left sides

tearing up ground
yet no steel
touches me.

This is my flag
of truce.
(I surrender.
I surrender.)

You lie
at the hips
w/rusted chains & wire
in a bed
as big as
a stand of Sweetgum trees
& only there can
the possibility
of love exist
you say–
clean love like
dolls w/porcelain heads
might know
or a new locomotive
before it touches rails.

I wear my
Feed store cap
& sing
like a simple muzhik
from a Tolstoi novel as I
limp through these fields/wrists
bound w/bailer twine
a gash in my groin
large enough for the
wasp star to beam thru

Swing your big guns away!
Mother–lower your nipples
that I might prime them.
Father–lift me to safety
in your
calibrated arms.

Swing O Swing yr. big guns away!

I will feed you
rocks, nails, splintered iron
if I must
line you up
touch the fire
to your hole w/out
throw buckets of water
across your backs
to cool you
in summer

& I promise to
swab you clean
& polish you forever
until my reflection
glides across
your curves.

I thrust my admiring ear close
to your mouths
to hear you whisper
of all that you crush
w/the tips
of your whistling tongues.

See my lymph drop
on yr. harness–
I am the caisson horse

pulling your mechanisms behind
up a mountain trail.
The horizon juts
against the stars
–Venus glares above
her couch of clay–
while you clatter through ruts
your single note
like love birds made of steel.

It is so good
to see a couple your age
strolling together
thru the wilderness.
It is obvious
you have not lost your

Father, your virility
is astounding.
How many balls
of glowing iron
do you spew daily into the night?
although you admit to a smaller bore,
in my eyes
you are just as accurate. The
daintiness of yr. wheels,
the blades on your carriage,
defend your femininity
all attackers.

You caress my flanks
w/tiny whips.
I call out to you
in joy. It is
so good to toil
for you! You overtake
me on a downward
trail. You push me
aside, & rightly so.
I must follow your
dancing arc into the
bushes. I lift my head

to smile at your muzzles
before you loose
your blessings in my face.

Jesse Glass’ recent work has appeared in Golden Handcuffs Review 32, in the on-line “Journal of Poetics Research”, in Otoliths, in Galatea Resurrects, Zimzallah, and other venues. Thirty-two of Glass’ Painted Books are in the Tate Britain’s collection of Artist’s Books. You can hear Glass read his work at the Penn Sound site.