Bianca Stone

Retreating Knights and Riderless Horses

Halfway through the poem another poem took over.
The two poems fought. It was
a bloody battle that lasted for seven hundred years.
Big choices were made
and gods among men died.
While stained sheets were wrung out in the wind,
canons roared.
After seven hundred years the two poems were mangled.
They couldn’t tell the difference anymore between themselves.
And they became, then, masochistic
on the battlefield their rage.
On a glorious morning, high up on a hill,
in hussar boots and mauve silk vest, the poem raged on—infantry in massed columns
and the flower of chivalry
ridden to its final thing.
It wore itself
into a bonfire, dying down. You have
to stand very close to it
with your hands or rear even closer.
In the dark it’s like porn
beet red
and bright orange, flecks of blue engorged veins
humping in the ash
for eternity


I keep a box of drugs on my table. I keep a knife
in my pet rock. I hire men to come
and try and remove it.
The one who does will be king of my life. I keep my life
right here by my other life. My other life keeps to itself.
I have two guitars. One fancy dress. Too many lamps. I take myself
very seriously. My name is permanent. I cut a hole in the wall
and watch the neighbor watching TV. It’s not even
sexy. Cracking open a bottle with my bottle of pills
prescribed forever like sunlight.
I’m going to a new restaurant in town
to lay waste
to its reputation.
Everyone knows I’m an ass.
But at one time, every decent family had an ass,
to carry goods from A to B
who stopped in the middle of the street
and wouldn’t budge for anything.

Bianca Stone is the author of Someone Else's Wedding Vows. Heavily influenced by a family of writers and artists, including the late poet Ruth Stone, Bianca Stone began writing poems at a very early age. She collaborated with the poet and essayist Anne Carson on Antigonick, published by New Directions in 2012. She lives in New York City.

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