Mark Scott

"the best damned poet in the business"

The Nth Crusade

In 1217, Pope Innocent III, who thought man was spit, piss, and dung, who coined the phrase persona ficta for Christendom, sanctioned another pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The crusaders reached Egypt and the Fertile Crescent in late May, 1218. Saint Francis preached to them of peace in August. They took Damietta in November. They were in no hurry. Three years passed. They kept expecting Frederick II, King of the Romans, to […]

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A Father’s Lawn

I too used to complain, after him, that I had to cut it all; now it looks no wider than a grade-school hall. Where did the room for the pattern he’d send me on go, from him and the well-top down and in, past the spruce? If I’d keep two feet in where he hated to see the gravel get over the brick and into the grass, I might fall […]

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Why This Website Address and Tagline?

On the day I graduated from college in 1982, a fellow graduate, who for two years had been very generous with her steady supply of cocaine, threw a party with her housemates. We were all friends. She told us her father would be there. We had never met him, but somehow we knew him as “a shipping magnate.” And then there he was. Dave, Jon, Jonathan, Cal, and I stood […]

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In Far Colorado

Illumination of it came from London, in a room I didn’t understand, boy–sized, but bigger than a coffin. The wallpaper had roan stallions flanked by cowboys and Indians, all grounded on a big blue sky. I lay on the bed like a shovel, either hand in spitting distance of a pint of White Horse and a puck of Skoal, part of the cartoon; but the cloud drawn over me shed […]

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Together in a Tent for the Night

What forms happiness takes, if formal— I close my eyes to capture its normal fluid state, the better to hear it espoused. But no one knows where pleasure is housed, not really. I wish it didn’t move around so much, were polymorphous and stable. But we are such agile creatures that sleep alone’s an adventure and an area of research. I’m not against a cure. I talk too much. For […]

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Toccata

I. The world’s abrasive. Its buildings are heavy. The earth is fairly firm. The whole universe is tense. II. We don’t know what will happen next. The moment of contact is frightening, so we have affairs. III. There’s no explaining the things people get good at or the people who get good at things. IV. Sara’s living room was lofty and dark. Then one afternoon she put on The Allman […]

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Voice Training

How evenly my grandmother’s pan conducts the heat! It’s Revere, she’d say, that’s a good brand. But her voice did it better yet— chafed nothing, nothing ever scorched. She was always hungry for love, a pretty, dark little thing who thought Black Beauty too much of a name for her mare and so called her Dude; had a bitch named Reilly, after the man she got her from, a nice […]

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