Temple Cone

the ugliness

to crawl inside

pay the vigorish

to enmud

sapping sun

of the daily 

of parched corn

amid the haze

the body's swerve

make hay

this landscape


a lapsed culture

a cissure

with a mind

a caesura

as clearcut

made wide 

on a hill

not a jar

will engulf

but beer cans

big mouth big pour

the wilderness

so different

old town ladies

maidens in halters

from the old men


all the boys

come here

they say a man

to impaginate

wanting to letter us

each blue line

the whiteness

a vein at the wrist

a river

what we show

a cut in the land

to no one

we don’t show

Temple Cone is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the city of Annapolis and Professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Guzzle, from FutureCycle Press. Learn more at