Joseph Dorazio

Joseph Dorazio

No canyon
majestic, no
rapids splendid,
no jury exalted
or piano bright—
all pale in comparison to
that grand illusion
no sooner furnishing sight
than fades to white.

Joseph Dorazio

The gold that’s stored
the stack

a tomb
whose pharaoh’s

not coming back
a book

a word, the
dictionary’s hoard

the accretion in
our lives

how S makes
things plural and

the simple past
tense of strive

it’s nothing we keep
but everything left


There’s something vaudevillian
about a polling place—

something queer: voters shrouded
in booths except for their shins:

Wizards of Oz conjuring politicians
via levers and buttons:

pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!
The Republic’s illusionists

whose legerdemain makes incumbents

Joseph Dorazio

We don’t know a lot
about what happened to

the ancient Maya. Their
mysterious ruins attract

the occasional ocelot. At
Tulum, nonchalant tourists

flock, slather sun tan lotion,
peruse guidebooks. It’s been

centuries since Spanish ships
announced the first apocalypse.

Archaeologists now delve
into the Mayan collapse,

while New Age gurus await
the year 2012.

Joseph Dorazio

BLACK COFFEE     after a still life painting by Daniel Monda I Bean breaks open.  Thoughts percolate.  Time to assimilate what’s worth keeping; what’s left over is again a bean, though small and often bitter, its sheen reveals its true value.  Drink it black, no cream.    Drink it black. II And what of cream’s absence? …

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