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Callaloo 23.1 (2000) 27-28

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Quarter-View, from Nauset

Carl Phillips

Part 1: In the Family

Love, etc. Have been remembering
the part in Sophocles
where a god advises the two heroes
they should be as
twin lions, feeding--how
even the flesh of late
slaughter does not
distract them from keeping
each over the other
a guarding eye.
What part of this is love, and
what survival
is never said,
though the difference it makes is
at least that between a lily and, say,
a shield. I think of you
often, especially here,
at the edge of the world or a
part of it, anyway,
by which I mean of course
more, you will have guessed, than
the coast, just now, I
stand on. Against it,
the water dashes with
the violence of two men who,
having stripped it, now take for their
own the body of [End Page 27]
a third man on the bad
sofa of an even worse
motel room in what eventually
is movie--one
we've seen . . . The way
what looks like rape
might not be. You'd like
the light here. At
times, a color you'd call anything but blue.

Carl Phillips is the author of From the Devotions, a finalist for the National Book Award, In the Blood, winner of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, Cort├ęge, finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and his most recent collection, Pastoral. He teaches at Washington University (St. Louis), where he has also served as the director of the Creative Writing Program.



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pp. 29-30
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