Bucharest, 1945

James Hatch Click to

James HatchJames Hatch’s work has been published in a number of journals, including The Yale Review, Southwest Review, Kenyon Review, Nimrod and Partisan Review.  His first book, The Green Behind Every Shape, was published by Somerset Hall Press (Boston).  He lives and works in New York City.


Master of ceremonies, hack actor
With red wig and smudged rouge,
Declaiming with ample spittle how
Corpses were displayed in butcher shops,
Laid on the racks. The chorus of churls
Mimics heroically drunk and questing
Brass bands and flags.


The mind sings itself blind,
A story of hex and fir forest,
A lost child’s song about home,
Dimly thatched and with a kitchen garden
Of strangely fertile loam,
Where cabbages unfold, turnips tumor soil,
Chicory fields indite to a nation.


Trains lurch out again, search the old tracks.
Ink-and-paper crumbs furtively
Seed the way we came.
The elect are recognized,
Megaphones register the renovation;
Lictors with fresh sticks drive the crowds on:
Flesh to be hated and consumed.