Author Archives: Leo Yankevich

Leo Yankevich

Born in Sharon, Pennsylvania in 1961 to Roman Catholic parents of Polish-Lithuanian and Irish descent, Leo Yankevich is a widely published formalist poet as well as translator.
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At the Metropolitan Gallery

98 words

I.
What will they say of us,
those who soon will come after
we lie dead in our pus,

our decadent bad art
that evokes a cuckold’s laughter? Read more …

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To Marcus Aurelius

150 words

Good night, Marcus. Blow out the light
and close your book. Where Ursa runs
the stars’ alarm now fills the night.
Heaven speaks to us in tongues,
a barbarian’s fear-stricken shriek
your Latin cannot understand.
Eternal terror, dark and bleak,
reigns over our frail mortal land. Read more …

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Back to the Future

90 words

Let us go to the station
to marvel at the marble
sprayed with graffiti.

Let us take a ghost train,
jump cargos to Chicago,
with shiny fin-tailed cars.

Read more …

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Wardrobe Restoration

99 words

The art nouveau oak moulding, chipped and cracked,
barely hanging from a rusty nail,
begs restoration. Klimt’s young maids untacked,
1910 doors, the flailing clothing rail,

fin de siècle mirror, long have lacked
a master’s living hand. In the hot stale
air of the cluttered loft its owner packed
and fled, dust lies decades deep in a pail. Read more …

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The Pyramids of Detroit

71 words

The silverfish climb walls
and crawl the faded floors;
eat peeled wallpaper, balls
of lint in broken drawers;

across veneer, find pairs
of thick and chipped wenge legs,
art deco chaise lounge chairs,
upholstery now in rags. Read more …

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Owls

77 words

The valley sinks into the mist;
the yellow ring of the horizon
eclipses the cornea of the sun;
the ridge blooms purple on my wrist,

fading, inimical and black.
The earth exhales into the dusk,
frost forming in the shaded husk
of afterglows. My wine and sack

Read more …

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Old South, 1932

88 words

Old South, 1932

We would go down to watch
the fishmongers gut the bream,
father with hand on clutch,
a barge with smoke and steam

Read more …

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“Rumour Mill” & “Wife”

176 words

Rumour Mill

Rumours may have reached you of
my imminent demise.
They’re largely true, the eyes
of Don Quixote’s every love

look down and almost see my flask
of wine, beer, whisky, rum,
fuel that helped me come
this far, where bells now lift my mask.  Read more …

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Somewhere over Germany, 1945

30 words

At the gates of heaven
he did not know the names
beyond the bombing bay.

But many miles away
he could still see the flames
judging the dead in Dresden.

Read more …

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Veterans Hospital

84 words

Some nights are never-ending hells
for these old veterans in our care.
We do not hand out pills, but shells,
as out of battlefields they stare
from over sixty years ago
on far-off Guam or Guadalcanal.
With trembling hands they try to show
how the bravest or youngest fell.
Read more …

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