after Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts

Albeit disenchanted, unmoored, the generative probabilities
subsist on meager praise, blush kittenish, tender no resignation,
while forces of capitulation, scrolled on shields and doors,
unhinged, rational, guard every exit. Desist or raise glass—
rush one’s excitation beyond mere verbal extravagance
lest in carnivalesque deterrence, urged by satyrs,
systematic as rain, fields bloom checkered with dread.
Beware of clouds, ceilings carved, ivory-sloped,
heavy with darkness, the country encumbered
with numbered fates, an insistent draft
sounding the alarm at half past eight. Whether ignorant
or incognizant of its own virtue, such possibilities enchant—
as in a summer play on a hidden stage,
while the war rages—the great war of last century.

Kevin J.B. O’Connor received his MFA from Old Dominion University, and will start a PhD in English program at University of Kentucky in the fall. He has published poetry in numerous journals, including Bayou Magazine, Glassworks, Flare: The Flagler Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Visions International.

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