Feathered Cape

Twelve years of poetics and
they put on me my feathered cape

—I wore it as I stepped outside,
called by a white cat

bathing in the blue light
of Melancholia—

it just orbits us now—
and the cat cast two shadows

like in the film,
the planet and the moon,

and told me of his evening
in the neighborhood

amid the architecture,
and said write a poem about that



An arrow to the stage
on which is seated
the piano player
plus drummer and bassist
all in a single spotlight—
maybe it is the 5 SPOT,
or somewhere new, and
this time the piano player
   whispers to you:

   you too perish,
but time and pain reply,
and when here we summer
maybe it is a fine stop,
light, stop, all sing, all in
pulse, remember and be set,
really, upon a path
in which are seeded
agates of tomorrow


Michael Begnal is the author of Future Blues (Salmon Poetry, 2012) and Ancestor Worship (Salmon Poetry, 2007), as well as the chapbook The Muddy Banks (Ghost City Press, 2016). His work has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Notre Dame Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Public Pool, Empty Mirror, The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear Publishing, 2016), Thinking Continental: Writing the Planet One Place at a Time (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has an MFA from North Carolina State University and teaches at Ball State University.