Exile And Other Poems

By Travis Wright

Image: Flickr/Wilheln Fyles



The wolves in the East we found to be gentle and decent.
From my table, I lean down and run my hand through their
disheveled coats, and for a moment, it is the only thing I
have known with such kindness in the world. Everything
on which our colony survives was brought to us by these
creatures. We can do nothing to repay such service, of course.
Surely they know this, and their brave ranks attend
our life here perhaps because of secrets which must always
remain so. Still, no one is certain of this, for the encircled
wood discloses nothing to us except these wolves. It is a fair
morning. I leave my wife, busied at the stove, and our children,
stilled in bed, and appear in silence on the porch. Through
the fog I watch on, approvingly, as their gentle company
is dispatched across the open wood. Yes, I too seek news of
a world in which cruelty has not yet reached human shores.

Not an Elegy


And though you of
all men must go
on confessing
sin into the
salted quiet,
do not think that
I have come to
remember it.
Do not think that
in such quiet
your old, ample
secret may hide.
For the low brook
and this wooded
bank belong to
whiteness, even
as you belong
beyond matter.
Here, the first taste.
Atoned wonder.
Here, a wide space.
There is no one.
You are alone.
Across the field,
a man in black
is approaching.
Which name, chosen
for this very
occasion, will
you assume now?
You must die here.



“The two elements the traveler first captures…are extra-human architecture and furious rhythm. Geometry and anguish. At first glance, the rhythm may be confused with gaiety, but when you look more closely at the mechanism of social life and the painful slavery of both men and machines, you see that it is nothing but a kind of typical, empty anguish that makes even crime and gangs forgivable.” —Federico García Lorca

5 men are seated suave inside, 5 men with
hats before them. Beneath one is a revolver.

You think now of consequent things—of a kidnapping
that may or may not occur. You think perhaps of

your release, that the men inside, pulling on cigars,
are not so bad. Yes, perhaps they are not

as sinister as they seem, but then—why the gun?
Why then tie your wife, distraught, in the corner?

It seems (and here you pause, thinking) that nothing
is left to do but to confront your would-be captors,

nothing left, but the opening of this door, and
you who have but one name to be received with.

A Description of the Life of Mr. Walter J. Katz


The dilemma now is that you are alone, a magician and a spy,
nothing else. Whatever speech—whatever prolonged address,
carefully prepared to give grace to the thing you’ve done, is
no longer yours now to give. And whatever can be said will be
said alone, I say, in the room of your birth, where, on fortunate
nights, one still might go in hope to find what you thought
to forget among the many lives we fear you once lived.

Travis Wright headshotTravis Wright lives in Minneapolis with his wife Emily, and works as a tutor in ancient Greek. He is currently completing a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies.

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