Mark Blaeuer

Novel Characters Near a Saloon

A black tail swishes, numbering the men
who focus on the buddha horse outside.
These men--known as agnostics, lower case--
have wandered off vast prairie, mythocide 
in every holster, threatening the face
of pseudoscientific acumen
or what-you-will, an elephant none saw
so much as felt. A pair of bat-wing doors
disperse smoke in long summer business hours,
but our posse looks away, toward law
more pertinent to ultra-paladin
than scum, to find there--maybe--argument
for rationality, the valiant,
a time machine, or just a bit of zen. 

Written Too Late for a Memorial Service

On whose authority did he survive
threescore and ten despite the fibrous lung?
I can’t say at this stage. Imagine love
from evanescent evidence--a song

like “Fiddler’s Green,” some folklore, an embrace.
The problem solved is all we get to keep
as talisman, a plus sign or Swiss cross
equating to our family’s end-hope

for unity (absent the company
of angels if they lack a real-life pulse).	
That symbol of addition is one way
to hold the positive above what’s false.

It proves a man was true enough to seek
his truth in four directions. He found peace
at cleek and niblick, words of breath or book,
sweet mathematics’ teaching, and with us.

Mark Blaeuer has an M.A. in anthropology and is retired from the National Park Service. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Able Muse, Better Than Starbucks, The Dark Horse, Measure, Nimrod, Westview, and The Windsor Review. Kelsay Books released a collection, Fragments of a Nocturne, in 2014. His prose publications concern baseball history and Native American history around Hot Springs, Arkansas.