Summer Gardens Somewhere Else, With Gardeners


Elam picked among his clarities

to find the first black apples oozing

out their mutant blooms inside his nervous

garden. Rows of brainflowers, fat as cabbages,

were throbbing on their stems in full sun

beside grotesqueries like rosewood skeletons,

the pulmonary shrubs, and venous orchids

gorgeous as stained glass.



he must have thought that sanity would bring

him peace of mind, because he never did

prepare for instinct in his enterprise.

Few if any knew about his creatures,

starting with the birds: out of uncountable

panicles of some forgotten bloom,


he cloned a pigeon that would flit erratically

amid the equinoctial fogs on lobed,

primitive wings he fledged in tendrils and leaves.

That was his baptismal try at flight.

Pigeons. Afterwards he rooted his

Cerulean warblers in the combs of grasses

edging every patio–where musically

they classified as news, though ecologically

they were unsound, like his cranes before

he got the hang of it, painted like

Max Factor, cloned from water plants

as pink as harlots, as carnivals, and floating

over goldfish. Loons in the long canals

crooned their funeral songs.


One morning

while he stoked the nursery stove, his hunger

spoke for a time, and noted that he hadn’t

seen the end of his manipulations–

and though he later brought his wolves to birth,

and jimmied bears from various and insectivorous



and had the nightly fruit bats depending

from prodigious fuchsia, and suspended his

amphibians within elusive tubers–

all of which signaled a crescendo–,

yet what he’d understood of his desire

was meant as fair warning. Let us walk

a little while together, he would say

to Sarah as the wasps would carry on

around the apricots, and serpents were,

like subways, hissing beneath them among

the mushrooms. Everything is still dying.

Author: Brad Crenshaw

I am a poet and literary critic. I have written two books of poetry: 'Genealogies' was published in April 2016. My first book of poetry is titled 'My Gargantuan Desire'. I also have two chapbooks: 'Propagandas', and 'Limits of Resurrection'. I am working on a manuscript titled 'Medical Life’, which is book of creative non-fiction. I have worked as a neuropsychologist for many years in a New England tertiary care medical center, and in the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. 'Medical Life' reflects my encounters with people who have had neurological insults of various sorts, and the problems that result. When I am not writing, or working, I'll be out in my ocean kayak in either the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. The unconstructed world.

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