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Leda's Aubade of Sink and Sledge
By James Hoch

Out of salt marsh, out of flat and reed,
out of crabgrass and black pine

they looked like swans
an archipelago of upturned sinks

dumped in a field. And I—
out of Meth, out on bail,

crank-addled, flannel-clad,
my punked-out throat slaked

threadbare— What made me
perch heel on wing above their necks?

Master, Miscreant— my body
buckling as I arched and wailed

a sledge into the porcelain birds—
I was what I heard looping in my head:

Anger is an energy. Mother,

I wasn't born as much as I fell out.
Mother, it's morning.

I don't know what's left to praise.
Your child's home, a blistered sun

tattooed over a sacral crest.


Have spent the whole day at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire! Where we saw Damian Blade, part of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Don Juan & Miguel -- both Don Juan in Heck and The Weird Show -- a Boar's Head acrobatics show and a dog-and-burlesque show, the Ultimate Joust and numerous musical performances, plus the apothecary, the pirate ship armory, the magic shop, the glassblower, the royal hounds, the dragon shop and many other lovely things...smoked turkey legs, soup bread bowls, the chocolate fountain, a woman trying to teach a small pumpkin to fly who hit me with it, a court doctor who told us that he used to be ship's surgeon to a pirate but never practiced any piracy himself except burning and pillaging...all in all, enormous fun that I am too tired to describe in proper detail except to say that we enjoyed ourselves and when we could not enjoy ourselves, we enjoyed somebody else (hee, sorry, Don Juan & Miguel joke).

Sir Walter Raleigh's man rides in for the joust through a ring of fire!

The Barely Balanced troupe demonstrates how to juggle while standing on someone's belly.

Damian Blade does what he is known best for: swallowing swords.

The flaming swords of Don Juan and Miguel!

The dogs at the Untrained Dog Show are not terribly thrilled by the fire-juggling.

An astonishing number of exotic belly dancers perform in the street of this shire.

The Pennsylvania RenFaire always ends with a bang! In this case, Raleigh's men clash with Essex's men to protect the Queen, cannons are fired...you know how it goes.

We ate on and off all day but had not had a proper dinner after we left midway through the dragon auction, so we stopped at Isaac's Deli in York and left as they were closing the place around us at 9 p.m. They have the best tomato pepperjack soup imaginable and very good sandwiches and desserts. So a long day but a really good one! And other than on food, we spent very little money at the Faire -- all I got was a little bottle of amber scent and a $4 miniature crystal ball. Going home at some point on Labor Day...hope everyone has a good one!
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