Max Blagg

July in February

Arc of the diver, curve of the bow
the way a backbone runs along the back
in sunlight something God made
a bone web that holds the beauty
upright and moves it
through the world a procession
noble as Picasso leading his glittering
entourage along the beach
beneath a giant parasol and
everyone under the sun salutes.


Woke to an indignation of trumpets,
grand pianos sliding down a wall,
diaphanous shreds of silk
drifting like smoke on corn fields,
halos purloined from angels
shopping for their smalls
in a celestial Frederick’s of Hollywood,
simian invocations
stirring the cranial gills.
the flame burns cool,
hold its beauty in your hands.


Indulgence confirmed
on epic summer nights
in the cornfields of the Midlands
where young girls
were removing their underwear
and you were there
you understood their sacrifice
lived among that flesh and Jabez
a prince armed with pincers
certain of nothing but your hardon
and the long days expanding
into marsupial nights
slow as beads of sweat on a dancer’s lip
innocent as butter melting into
home baked bread each saintly
unsoiled moment canonized
everything impeccable
as Brigitte Bardot’s ass
filmed by Godard
on the Isle of Capri,
in May of 1963.

Catch My Breath

Holding back time like a dog on a leash
anything to slow the forward motion of the day

Music sharp as spears too many ghosts inciting
astral turbulence even the footy too hard to watch.
Word play stopped on tracks, next step must be righteous
Lovely daughter in an old Charvet shirt, they sent her out
deliberately to catch my breath, walk on my grave.
she brought me a vial of patchouli from Constantinople
that reminded me of hippie girls in Oshkosh overalls
but I had already entered the realm of the senseless.
Persephone had to spend three months of each year
underground with her father Pluto, in darkness
and gloom of night. Wouldn't you?

British born Max Blagg is a widely admired writer, performer, and artist. He has published nine volumes of poetry and prose. His writing has appeared in Bomb, Interview, Aperture, Ten, Oyster, Village Voice, New York Times, and others. His forthcoming project, "Late Start for Mardi Gras" is a collaboration with 21 artists which will be exhibited in New York in Spring 2024.