Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

Half Sonnet; Half Sonnet
Half Sonnet



We only imagine secrets, 

the stunted windows,


that evil is a kind of lapse 

or distance, a falling away


perverting the order of courtesies 


the 2-in-1 rumor played on a ukulele 

in the mouth, a desert

Half Sonnet

                                        –for Sarah Ruhl



My bed has lost its boundaries 


and my head is probably 

not long breaks 


from the music.


A shoulder is not a person 


but its disruption 

takes down the foundation.

00:00 / 00:23
00:00 / 00:22

Mark Tardi is originally from Chicago. His publications include the books The Circus of Trust, Airport music, and Euclid Shudders. A former Fulbright scholar, he lives with his family in a village in central Poland and is on faculty at the University of Lodz.

The “Half Sonnets” largely grew out of the fact that I joined the ranks of parenthood. I tend to think and write in interlocking serial sequences, which can be sustained for many months (or years), but my time and energies are quite truncated these days and that sort of intellectual and creative luxuriating are infeasible. Instead, details have become entire worlds: how the presence of another (tiny) person remaps our own bodies and boundaries and rhythms; or how the very real dangers of rumor and innuendo reminded me that it’s all but impossible to make ominous music on the ukulele.