Poetry: Another Dusky Sonnet by Anthony Borruso

Like most contemporary sonneteers, Anthony Borruso has taken aim at the right margin of his “Another Dusky Sonnet” and the lines bristle with dynamic force and momentum—like bones protruding from the sand. And like the poem’s inspiration, Dali, he builds his meaning and song through the weirdest bent and melting thing.


Another Dusky Sonnet

We open immediately: a delicious Dali nightmare—black
and bleak, blinking eyes. A tempered smell of sulfur. Not a splotch of sun-
light. It’s problematic, to say the least, a​ ​cliché ​meets another
cliché in an alleyway, bounds and gags it, drags it to a leather-
skinned sex dungeon​—what happens there? I rather not say. Because the world
loves dream-logic, levitation, bones protruding from sand like dopey
marshmallows. A thought bristles inside of the skull—everyone you love will die
so you might as well squeeze them to dust. Like a podiatrist or a
soprano, you wrap your whole being around the tension, the full weight
of a body suffering gravity, and try to maneuver some
sweet grain of relief. It comes yodeling out, inappropriate, stark,
a treasure chest of muddy thrusts, a sestina of doubt, where at the end
of each line rests a clock that would rather not tick but melt, another
little death, cooing, rattling, sustaining itself on twilight’s taut tongue



Anthony Borruso

Anthony has an MFA in creative writing from Butler University and has been a reader for Booth: A Journal. He suffers from Chiari Malformation and sometimes examines this in his poetry. Currently, he teaches composition at Tallahassee Community College. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Spillway, Mantis, THRUSH, Moon City Review, decomP, Midwest Quarterly, and elsewhere.

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