Morgan Harlow ~ Poems

Observations on Capitalism Written on a Postcard Bearing a Reproduction of Painting, 1950 by Joan Miró

Forcing need where none exist­ed before, it repeats the trick again
and again, invest­ing and rein­vest­ing in itself, build­ing, redefin­ing and
widen­ing mar­kets, and, in a pow­er lock appalling to some and making
oth­ers gid­dy with glee, unreg­u­lat­ed it becomes the first two letters,
the ‘go’ in government.


Fragments of Spring

We talked about the movie
Vertigo, our con­ver­sa­tion vague.

I nev­er under­stood it, real­ly. She
wasn’t who she was, in the end.
She was found out to be someone


Strawberry leaves like floppy
bun­ny ears. The tulips slowly
begin­ning to flower. The group
eat­en by deer received the most
atten­tion before but now are no
longer visited.


Fragments bro­ken from a
sculp­ture, rose petals crunching

Our days demand­ing, post-
trau­mat­ic, lim­bo. Glancing to
the past, and to the future.


Sestina for Lowry

Bring a copy of Malcolm Lowry’s Under
the Volcano in hon­or of a world we cared about
before our own was spent.
We’ll no more fear the emp­ty glass
nor wor­ry over fail­ing health.
Once we have died, these mat­ter not.

I hope you will not
hate me, or feel misunder-
stood. I wish you health
and hap­pi­ness. Don’t fret about
the past. Fill every glass
to over­flow, don’t fin­ish life half spent.

Think now and then of times we’ve spent
and keep the porch light burn­ing. Try not
to work too hard in life, because like glass
we break. First all our dreams will van­ish under-
neath the gar­den wall, then comes the ghost to hang about
once death has paid a call. Transcendency of men­tal health

might seem to some our hope, yet a health-
y dose of liv­ing keeps us teth­ered to the rope. Spent
tri­als and emo­tion, about
which we’ve no say, not
know­ing what we want, our efforts under-
mined and stray. Life dwells beside a house of glass,

so pre­dis­posed to glas-
nost, so have a toast to love and health.
Don’t fetch the under-
tak­er ‘til the money’s almost spent.
Your ten­den­cy towards not
roman­ti­ciz­ing has got you in a bout

with an exis­ten­tial gadabout
who claims death’s the near­est look­ing glass.
Impossible to see, impos­si­ble to not.
In the name of God be health.
The future is eter­ni­ty spent
with­out a glass to hold to. Delay the going under.

Once under we’re about
the past, spent, rivers passed through, glass-
y eyed. Strangers in their health regard us not.


Morgan Harlow’s work has appeared in Blackbox Manifold, Ottawa Arts Review, Washington Square, The Moth, Seneca Review, and else­where and is forth­com­ing in Miramichi Flash and The Oakland Review. She lives in rur­al Wisconsin and is the author of a full-length poet­ry col­lec­tion, Midwest Ritual Burning.