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Joe Ross


In Line


Not knowing is the best state. And

privilege to be the head of it. A road map not

to be followed is what the guide said.

What is eternal is transfigurative, so

the book said. Take the nearest stairs

and wrestle with them is what I said.

For fear of being beneath weight.

This heaviness of yes, or the heaviness of no.

We divided the loaf in half.

And exactly half were left out. This is

invention. This is fable when asked.





Mass Conspiracy


Something like an economy of phrases

of speech. Words broken before backs.

This sudden starting or stopping calling history

or social, disorder. What reflected?

Any possibility without code. Frozen

in attempts or all day in the square.

A parade in perfect lock step with constructed

emotion. If will were a way. Older

outer means of control. Again the word

social. Nearer shards than bread.

The disagreement came in something

like an economy. Something or phrases

of speech in something like an economy.

Before broken words before backs.





No Title


So begin in the world dark.

What pressure to what mirror to what motive

is you? Each examined left out. The saying goes.

the saying goes away. On the table there is a box.

And in the box is a saying some say.

It is a grand avenue. It is miniature architecture.

It is a model or a crusted bone. How long held

the disguise itself transfigures the face. It was

a flower in a box on some window one could

not look out. So begin in the world of dark.

It was a chariot rode without opposition. It had

a face for itself and a face for the mirror.

It had a name and a word for that name. It

was taken in the sun. It left no shadow







And now I have a table and

an old man sitting under a tree and

some memories and finally no rules nor

name for you. How to address this. When the

knot finally slips and the world comes back.

When tomorrow correctly take its place as today.

We began to talk but quickly chased the words away.

We put a symbol, let it be A. It

immediately left for Not A. How to address this.

The sun was setting because an image was called for.

We opened all the bottles in our sleep. Saw straight

through the bottom. It was still dark when we awoke.

Ready for the new day in our sleep still sleeping.

How to address this, let it be Not A.







It was the voice that was missing

Several who looked like you could

have been. But passed. A distance

to a photograph or planes heard

overhead. Was it caught in stride?

Out lasting is a hair’s growth or very

good friends of necessity. It seemed just

a moment ago. Twin towers in battle

dividing you even farther apart. A

bridge will not do. It was something spoken

without a voice—the blue dot after

staring into sun. It wanted to be called

poetry because the voice was missing. What else

lasted assured the arrival.





Born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Joe Ross attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he began writing poetry. His first book, Guards of the Heart, consisting of four plays in poetic form was written during this period; and over the next few years he continued writing works, including How to Write; or, I used to be in love with my jailer (1992), An American Voyage (Sun & Moon Press, 1993); Push (1994), De-flections (1994); Full Silence (1995), and The Wood Poems (1997). His collection, EQUATIONS=equals was published by Green Integer in 2004. After living for several years in San Diego, where he was involved in local politics, Ross and his wife Laura moved to Paris, where they continue to live with their son, Julien. The poems above are from a forthcoming collection, Strata.


Copyright ©2006 by Joe Ross and Green Integer.