Mountainous Black Garden

“What good is intelligence if you cannot discover a useful melancholy?”

—Akutagawa Ryonosuke

Reading grapefruit, prey, and fake grief.
Put on “Fleurette Africaine” and her arm

Drapes onto steel fibers along nerves.
Her love fills the zinc bottle of its own body.

Peel me a woody bass, wick the piano away
From the sweet peak of Duke’s pomade.

Black can be quiet and contain the whole thing.
What is apart and not hard and hard and not apart?

About the Poet:

Sean Singer’s first book Discography won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, selected by W.S. Merwin, and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. He has also published two chapbooks, Passport and Keep Right On Playing Through the Mirror Over the Water, both with Beard of Bees Press and is the recipient of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

His work has recently appeared in Memorious, Pleiades, Souwester, Iowa Review, New England Review, and Salmagundi. He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Rutgers-Newark. He lives in Harlem, New York City.