By Edward Butscher

The old golf course was deserted

and had been since the ‘thirties

weeds surging across its flanks

like preambles of a broken dam

and flag rafts of brambles

clotting its veins.


He led her by the hand

to the cave of earth he had dug

and camouflaged with leaves

when still a GreenMountain man

before they sat and pretended

to sip at mint-sailed tea.


Alice poured and chided him

for forgetting how to hold a cup

but he could not stop shaking

and caused the dark clouds

to stumble into a storm.


“We’ll get wet!” she squealed

in panic, laughing all the while

as they hugged each other

like a family pair.


He eased down her panties

and kissed the holy place

where it hurt so she

would not fall in again.


The blood of it was not profound

this laying on of human hands

but healing came, scab-hard

to scar our long blond days.


Born and raised in Flushing, Queens, Edward Butscher’s poems, stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of journals since the early 1970’s, including the Saturday Review of Literature, Poetry, Georgia Review, Newsday, and the American Book Review. In 1976 Seabury Press published his Poems About Silence and Sylvia Plath: Method and Madness, first biography of the controversial poet. He also edited Sylvia Plath: The Woman and the Work (1978) for Dodd, Mead, and his Adelaide Crapsey was published in 1979 as a title in Twayne’s United States Authors series.

Cross Cultural Communications published two collections of his poems, Amagansett Cycle (1980) and Unfinished Sequence (1981), and his only novel, Faces on the Barroom Floor, appeared from Contemporary Press in 1984. He co-edited (with Irving Malin) a special issue of Twentieth Century Literature in 1986 devoted to the work of Paul Bowles. His Conrad Aiken: Poet of White Horse Vale, published in 1988 by the University of Georgia Press, won the Poetry Society of America’s Melville Cane Award for that year

Edward Butscher is the author of Peter Wild (1992) in the Western Writers of America series and Eros Descending (1992), a group of lyrics from an on-going sequence issued as a Dusty Dog Chapbook, and has been a contributing scholar for a number of reference works, among them, The Reference Guide to Short Fiction (St. James Press), MaGill’s Survey of Contemporary Poetry, and Oxford University’s Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English.

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