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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Poem: 222 words
By Nathan D. Horowitz


a black bird, 
a blank page. 
a bullet is spoken, 
a letter is written. 
as the man said, black fire on white fire, 
the jews of europe. 
karl marx, groucho marx, punctuation marks. 
charcoal on paper, tire tracks in slush. 
i walk across a windy bridge in vienna 
clad in my father’s black armor. 

i wake up and turn over. 
have i been asleep on his sofa 
for three thousand years, 
since the days of the temple? 
his eyes owlish, 
he’s been sitting in his black leather armchair, 
sketching me, 
in darkness lit by light. 
in organic, 
in dead, 
in being, 
in pure energy. 

into the ashes he goes. 
into the past and future. 

a hero to me now. 
i’ve inherited him, 
a precious memory, a blessing. 
when he was alive, 
i often couldn’t see the use of him. 
as soon as he died, his life made sense. 

like the black leather armchair 
that lived its whole life 
so he could die in it. 

outside the condominium, 
pale green light is 
screaming and chanting 
in sculptural forms. 

an artist 
is smashing down 
through the clouds 
from the jews of europe. 

wearing a light blue button-down shirt 
and brown corduroys flapping in the wind, 
dark blue socks and wallabee shoes, 
sketching as he falls, 
my father’s body plummets 
into my myth. 

Nathan D. Horowitz
Issue 11, January 2022

Born and raised in Michigan, writer/teacher/translator/proofreader Nathan D. Horowitz has a BA in English and an MA in Applied Linguistics. After four years in Latin America and fifteen in Austria, he lives with his wife and daughter in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of two volumes of creative nonfiction about Ecuadorian ayahuasca shamanism and the translator of three volumes of Ecuadorian fiction, one volume of Venezuelan poetry, and the autobiography of the last shaman-chief of the Siekopai people of the Amazon Rainforest. His work has been published in Ashé, The Cenacle, Dragibus, Driesch, Psychedelic Press UK, Qarrtsiluni, Kritya, Maquina Combinatoria, WordCityLit, Global City Review, and the Michigan Quarterly Review.

Author’s website: https://nathandhorowitz.com/

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