Djelloul Marbrook

Djelloul Marbrook

Watcher in the Window

Emeralds, sapphires, pearls
I preferred even when I didn't know
the diamond market is stagecraft.

Moments put back in their velvet cases
because I couldn't afford them
were Zircons for all I knew.

In this I showed great delicacy.
To whom? My own observant self
watching in the window

or perhaps a faceless angel
wondering when this one would be ready
for the disappearance of objects?

Let This Mercury

Let this mercury now go back
to where it would have been
had the chalice been withheld,
the silver cord held in awe,
the wet nurse not been called.

Let this mercury now subside
that was riled by lightning,
a mother's fury at the father,
let it not stir between flashes
or insist on iterant life.

Let this mercury rest under leaves
unnoticed by the heavens
until they're ready to assure it
more than a scuttering between
peals of thunder, shrouds of rain.


My face ill-fits your skull
but I think you'd better wear it
until the current emergency
gives way to another one
at which time you may refresh
your tired mind with knowledge
lost to the misfortune of birth.
There is no time to improvise
a more anonymous face,
you may explain your looks
as a hero's disfigurement
and hope they don't inquire
into the details of your service,
and if you are detained,
well, what else is this life?

About the Author

Djelloul Marbrook's first book, Far from Algiers (Kent State University Press, 2008) won the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and the 2010 International Book Award in poetry. “Artists' Hill,” an excerpt from his unpublished novel, Crowds of One, won the 2008 Literal Latté first prize in fiction. Artemisia's Wolf, a novella, was published by Prakash Books of India early in 2011. Alice Miller's Room, a novella, was published in 1999 by (UK) as an e-book, and Bliss Plot Press of Woodstock, NY, recently published his novella, Saraceno, as an e-book. Orbis (UK),, Potomac Review (Maryland) and Prima Materia (New York). His second book of poems is Brushstrokes and Glances (Deerbrook Editions, 2010). Recent poems were published by American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Oberon, Meadowland Review, The Same, Reed, The Ledge, Poemeleon, Poets Against War, Fledgling Rag, Daylight Burglary, Le Zaporogue, Atticus, Long Island Quarterly, ReDactions, Istanbul Literary Review, Arabesques Literary and Cultural Review, Damazine, Perpetuum Mobile, Attic, and Chronogram. A retired newspaper editor and Navy veteran, he lives in Germantown, NY, with his wife Marilyn, and has lifelong ties to Woodstock.

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