Spring 2011, Volume 10

Poetry by Jeff Encke

Well Diver

Water-walled I build an empire of silence
drawing with a plumb bob vertical lines
into the pool’s dark glass.  Years pass.
My claws grow ragged from troweling
this synthesis of enemies.  I hear rumors
of times asleep, etherized, malingering
that the flowering nerium’s roots    a web
of archaeology      grow as deep as water.
Then a pressure in the ears as I cross
from light and air below     through meters
of icy linn      a certain double-ended beat
rtass: clogged with corpses poisoning
a source.   I linger in chambers of sea
as the waves crash and voices recede.




BIO: Jeff Encke's poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Bat City Review, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature & Art, Fence, Kenyon Review Online, Octopus, Salt Hill, Tarpaulin Sky and others. He has taught writing and criticism at Columbia University, where he received a PhD in English in 2003, and at Richard Hugo House in Seattle.