Fall/Winter 2014

Michael Trammell


Nerves of darkness on hearts of strings,
that’s how you’ve described the state, the mind’s
clamber while the sun sinks into your swamp

of a backyard, and how you wished for rain
in Valencia where the July sun beat
hard on the drum-skin of your skull, like the thud

of the nightly fireworks. This Florida cold,
the land formerly of España, now a crimson woodland
of crumbling missions,

this swampland freeze preys on your nerves,
and you dream of soaring to Madrid and the Prado,
where you kinked your heart with Bosch and Goya,

and remember the bus ride back to baking Valencia,
the coastal breeze at least easing the lightning
of sweat on your forehead. Better yet, recall

a bridge spanning from one glass
building to another, and two mammoth-sized
lobsters reaching each to each across the half-mile

from the sky-scraping profundity of outsized
billboards. An aquarium by the sea in the dry
riverbed shaped like the sand crabs you catch that burrow

in the Gulf Coast’s shore break, your son digging
for them, bait shaped like the neurons
of the brain, each tied to the world’s

longest string that’s not string
but a nerve that reaches deep
into the darkness of your soaring.

Like you’ve imagined: a leap
from the skyscrapers of Valencia, through
the spidery trails of fireworks smoke. 

Michael Trammell is currently the editor-in-chief of the Apalachee Review and formerly hosted/coordinated the Anhinga Press / Apalachee Review Reading. YellowJacket Press recently published his chapbook Our Keen Blue House. His work has appeared in numerous journals.



Poetrybay seeks fine poetry, reviews, commentary and essays without restriction in form or content, and reserves first electronic copyright to all work published. All rights to published work revert to the author following publication. All Email submissions should be in body of email text.

To submit poems write to:

PO Box 114 
Northport NY 11768
or email us at 

send comments to info@poetrybay.com

first electronic copyright 2004 poetrybay. 
all rights revert to authors

website comments to dpb@islandguide.com