A Negative of Speech


Mark DuCharme





Memories erase us

& Mirror what we’ve never seen


    TV in the

Corner         , silent



Images destroy the flutter

Eyes presuppose reflection


On taut surfaces



                The self & night


Light spills across

The trace

        Calligraphies that cross    us out


Too late for what

Had been brought back


    In calypso shadows        at

The opposite of        an onset


Where ordinary rains burst    forth

        & Tinted housing rusts


The man in plaid is fraught with shadows—

But what does the cold wind portray?


No stars, just furnaces—

& Everywhere we’d ever thought


We knew, but almost        stood

Gone outward & astray









Mark DuCharme’s recent books of poetry include We, the Monstrous: Script for an Unrealizable Film (The Operating System, 2018), The Unfinished: Books I-VI (BlazeVox, 2013) and Answer (BlazeVox, 2011).  Counter Fluencies 1-20 appeared as part of the print journal The Lune (2017), and other work is recent or forthcoming in Caliban Online, Colorado Review, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, Ethel, Human Repair Kit, Monday Night, New American Writing, Unlikely Stories, Word For/Word and Noon: An Anthology of Short Poems (Isobar Press: due 2019).  He lives in Boulder, Colorado.