Halvard Johnson
Sonnet:  Adventures on the Hippocampus

Around noontime, we landed on the hippocampus, when squirrels
were hungry, leaping from the tree branches down onto the arms
of passersby, snatching away peanut butter sandwiches from them
and biting, often, the hands that held them, snacks between classes.

By lunchtime, we could usually no longer remember what we’d had
for breakfast, and yet were almost certain that we had had something.
Memories clouded by . . . well, by eleven o’clock at the latest, unless
a skill at finding shortcuts helped us all become better taxi drivers.

Subcortical inputs rushed around the campus—heads with their
chickens cut off, by Talibansters with scimiters where their iPods
should have been. Counterdemonstrations by Students Against
Islamic Knowledge disrupted both pep rallies and frat hazings.

But, by late afternoon, this often murky history has had its sense of
relevance restored, on its way to class (Brachiation 101—elective).

Sonnet Ending with Epigram of Oscar Wilde

A good beauty is a thing of index. Webs of lies
spun from the intricacies of conflictual discourse.
Deserted streets waiting, as always, for some bus
to pass on its way to Paradoxical Paradigm Mall.
Voiceless journeys beginning with a single mis-
step--ending? . . . well, maybe never. Microbes

from outer space cross into our country without
so much as a pause for customs and immigration.
Clichés of birth—the blood, the spank, the yowl.
Asian Hasids, praying at the Whaling Wall, half
in love with oil depletion allowances. Gnarled, 
arthritic hands on the levers of power: the usual.

To arrive at what one truly believes, one must
speak through lips different from one’s own.