Arthur is a myth, but
aren’t we all? The
story lived, breath
by breath, and, then,
some lines in the
obits, bytes in
databases, each
entry a saga.

In Victoria Station, at
McDonald’s — the
one up the escalator
— the girl pony-tailed
expends her Sunday
morning in efficient
movements that fill
the labor time till off.

In the table in the
center, a black-hair
woman leans her
round face forward,
just a bit, to give
her open-eyes an
upturn as the bristle
-chin man leans,
just a bit, across the
Formica, looking
straight at her and
gesticulating his
words, electric,
rhythmic, crackling
across the space, to
and fro, forth and
back, out and in, a
dance of a dance, the
golden woo.

At a near table, sole,
she, dinged and dim,
tends her black coffee
like a small flower
refusing to blossom.

None here is pondering
an ancient kingly legend
who may have lived —
aside from me, who, in
this moment, is breathing
my own saga — but now
is washed away like layers
of graffiti under the power
hose, so much worn away
save a vagueness, the
dreams of 100-year nights.

The strong arm
Called Arthur
defecated in
the trees and
vomited one,
two, three
before the
battle. He
moved with
care in his
stew of nerves.
No time to be
sloppy. Then,
the line was off.


The Boy

Morning, early,
on Leamington, alone,
the peel-paint step,
sharp-angle sun on
gray asphalt,
red, brown, green
glass stars
of bottles
the world’s skin.

Leave the elbow scab alone.
Blood will flow in its time.
No rush. No need now to
mark map.

Nervous caress of itch.

Prise, with none looking,
thick brown up for the feeling.


This work was first published as part of the Basil ~ October 2017 Issue, of the Coldnoon journal.



Patrick T. Reardon

Patrick T. Reardon

Patrick T. Reardon is the author of eight books, including Requiem for David, a poetry collection from Silver Birch Press, and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence. He worked for 32 years as a reporter with the Chicago Tribune. His essays and poetry have been published widely in the United States and Europe.