Think buckshot:
Not the rifle,
but the musket.

Ear-horn of
powder, arm-
deep in black

soot. Think
flint lock
and flash pan.

Muzzle blast.
Hollow point.
Don’t paint

the rounds,
don’t ready
the bayonet.

No aim
is necessary;
nothing is true.

Think percussion
cap. Any metal
as shrapnel.

Any spark as
be bottled.


  1. My restored mantra on writing.

  2. “Nothing is true” reads like a good last line.

  3. The one above that is what resonates with me. Maybe that should be my subtitly thing, actually…

  4. Just writing in to say I think the following line break,

    “No aim
    is necessary;”

    is truly inspired.

    I’m not sold on “but” in S1L3, however: with the form you’ve inhabited, “Not” in the previous line says enough on its own. I understand the sonic resonance of buckshot/but; for me, though, the latter term’s redundancy just wasn’t overshadowed by that gain.

    That said, again, I’m very much loving the addition of this feature to your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your everything.

  5. Well my ear wants it there (I think it has more to do with the mirroring of beats with the line above than the alliteration), but more, there’s a syntactic ambiguity without it — the line could be read as a list: not the rifle, nor the musket. It clears up quickly if you’re careful, but any kind of confusion kicks you out of the poem, even if it’s only slight, and I don’t like that.

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