Trent Busch


Trent Busch is a native of rural West Virginia who now lives in Georgia where he makes furniture. His poems have appeared in many journals including The Best American Poetry, Poetry, The Nation, Threepenny Review, North American Review, Chicago Review, Southern Review, Georgia Review, New England Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Northwest Review, Kenyon Review, American Scholar, Shenandoah, and more recently in Notre Dame Review, Evansville Review, Agni Online, Grove Review, Boston Review, Sou’wester, Poetry Daily, and The Hudson Review.



They rid the cave of bats,
careful, before they buy,
that there's no history
of dragon dung, no witch
that used her genitals
for joy;
they do not clear
the lot but have it cleared,
fencing off the line of
trees where a white bull
from Crete once grazed and may
still wander secretly.

Know their mixed metaphors
quite well, brooms handy if
a spider tries a web,
wear suspenders, check for
flies and, if in season,
staff a lab;
read papers
where a party might break
out, stomp perfunctorily
the latest thing on Joyce,
damn poets and smoke, peer
above their plastic cups.

As for Shakespeare, Dickinson
and the rest, they are but
compost for orchids in
their heads, except for James
who could feel at home in
anybody's bed;
memos, and the buck have
added process to their work,
while that giant, once their
joy, is hushed, to sit like
Claudius by their fire.

I feel that English departments in colleges and universities have become so diversified that they have forgotten what their true purpose is:  to honor all those great writers from Homer to the present in individual classes. The fact that the last university where I taught did not even have a class in Shakespeare or modern poetry is an example of the woeful status of our late giant.