These poems depict a journey through a dark landscape, where the political and personal are fused into a geography of disinformation, sex, betrayal and deadly technology. Phelan has produced verbal "snapshots" of a subterranean war-- with fronts in Los Angeles as well as Fallujah-- where the only defense is one's integrity and the stakes may be life itself.
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My breasts cave in
under the weight of interrogation
My pubic bone splinters
under the inquisitor's relentless gaze
What was once soft and tentative
condensed to its essence
so that something/anything
Nothing resembles what was
Nothing resembles what is
O God of harsh lessons
O God of Treblinka, Nagasaki, Darfur and Redlands
how can I be faithful
to your teachings?
God of second chances
of the sunlight slanting through the trees
as the boxcars run off the tracks
the human cargo escaping into the woods
how can I divine your true intent?
Outside the bedroom window
the ancient oak also holds its breath
In the distance
someone is calling
I open the door
and the night pours in
and I follow