James B. Nicola
The dollop drapes the trollop,
as the horse and leg become
the gelid whims you see before you now,
into a life self-ruined
in perpetua, one dram
of poison stilled in looking. You see how
the darkling cast of absinthe
on the oils conjures a glum
unfocusing effect upon her brow,
unwomaned as his dancers,
tutus flirting off a frame,
or bathers – one or two of whom, you know.
James B. Nicola has had 300 poems published in periodicals including Atlanta Review, Tar River, Texas Review, Lyric, and Nimrod. A Yale grad and stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a Choice Award. As a poet, he also won the Dana Literary Award and a People's Choice award (from Storyteller); was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award; and was featured poet at New Formalist. His children's musical Chimes: A Christmas Vaudeville premiered in Fairbanks, Alaska-with Santa Claus in attendance opening night.