In Memoriam Robert Kroetsch (26, June 1927 – 21 June 2011).


Night comes quietly when you discover the simplest
of light lifting its wings to block the carnage.

How do you manage these broken days?
Can you believe what happened with the riotous?

You knew something got lost in the translation
so you stole that language, that lexicon, the only life

Capable of proving none exists except as converts
to some thing or other, lists magnificent or mundane,

Knew what lay in waiting for those western stars fading
against the unforgiving intrusion of what happens

When comets or catastrophes ricochet above the screech
— Or, do we mean roaring? – All nor nothing, just like that.




The above collaborative poem appeared previously in Rampike (Vol. 21, #2). We wish to thank Dr. Karl Jirgens, who founded Rampike in 1979 and edited the magazine until 2016, for permission to republish “Blood Culture” here.


Photo by k4dordy