Ray Succre




Joan of Arc in North Bend, Oregon


She reads and drives, does make-up

and eats crustaceans on melba toast.

Apples imitate her head and go up

in flames while a chalkstick runs her

figure on the ground.


No general's war is underneath her

brainsheets, and seldom boys locked out

from forgotten keys in a doorside dish.


She goes to sleep next to an alarm clock.

She wakes and puts on makeup.




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That knowledge brings estimates is frontal,

and wisdom cripples spontaneity.

Each fact is a blustering fan pressing wind

over coals to sweatbox the reason in learning.


Blood draws from lungs like

joy drinks from compassion,

the eyes as from light while

burrowed in a kettle place—


there is only news, and next whistling moment,

more screeches into news.


This has possessed the magma that centers

our nature, though it hasn't ever turned

the world.