Bruce Bond


Self-portraits of the new dark age are lonely
for the hand that holds the camera, the one

we never see. It is out there. On another
body, the one we live in, the one that floats

an ache here, an eyelash there, our fingers
drawn out of their hinges. Over the keys. 

I am coming for you, hand, wherever you are,
whatever you suffer, you in the margins

of the movie that says we must be moving,
if not moved.  Was it you who claimed

the face in the light of the liquid crystal
waits only for the blackout to emerge?

I am holding out this camera for you, hand:
this plunder, this gift, the kind you give back

the way a wave gives back to the shoreline
or a small night boat to the open sea.

You will know me by the light of my study.
Take this shot, love. No, farther. Farther.

Bruce Bond

is the author of twenty books, including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), and Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L. E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017). Five books are forthcoming: Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press), Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse Press), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions), Scar (Etruscan Press), and Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU). Presently, he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.