Askold Skalasky

Askold Skalasky is a former community college professor, whose poems have appeared in numerous small press magazines and journals, most recently in freefall and The Dos Passos Review. He has also published in Canada, Ireland, and Great Britain. Earlier this year he received a prize for poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council. Askold’s contributions to The Write Room are Colloque Aux Folies Bergere The Persistence Of Summer Les Adieux Gorgo* Elephant Herds Testing Time Cows  Continue reading Askold Skalasky


by Askold Skalasky They were wild once, browsing on clover, weeds, cropping away at tufts of sedge, rumps clumped in a field, pinbones projecting like two stubbed towers of a bridge covered by a span of sagging hide, nebulas of slowly thickening flesh, bulbous and ruminant, sotted with a stew of grass, the steady gazing eyes like vitreous phlegmatic moons persisting in their elemental unconcern, vast physiology of hoof and horn, the fecund udders slumping to the ground like soft edemas with pink teats, the rich manure steaming in gray-gold mounds stomached through countless labyrinths churning the star-bright juices in … Continue reading COWS


by Askold Skalasky   Some students taking tests, their pencils poised in semi-unison over the answer sheets before them, like bows about to move in the string section of a high school orchestra.   They haven’t yet recognized the blankness  of the enterprise, manualed and supervised to the last digit on their pale green forms. There’s a large clock standing upright on the proctor’s desk.   Its wrapping stripped away, it glares in Chaplinesque aplomb, the little mustached hands moving across its grinless face  like some rotund, gesticulating dictator.   §   More poetry from Askold Skalsky Colloque Aux Folies … Continue reading TESTING TIME


by Askold Skalasky   We children with huge heads, who never forget, are trained like elephants: chained to iron poles, we brood and try to get away but can’t, and soon give up, attaining the fixed level of our plenitude.    When adults, we’re tied to wooden stakes by strings and, memory-trussed, don’t move beyond our ambit’s nook, though we could do so without blinking a slow eye or turning our large heads for a last look.   §   More poetry from Askold Skalsky Colloque Aux Folies Bergere The Persistence Of Summer Les Adieux Gorgo* Testing Time Cows Askold … Continue reading ELEPHANT HERDS


by Askold Skalasky   How are you? she asks, barely slowing her steps, and I reply, What a beautiful afternoon!   It’s a language with one eye that we pass to each other, like crones in the Lybian foothills, gray and ragged, their jawbones jutting out of the dim cave.   What little secret they know they’ve already told the magic- born hero after he snatches the eyeball from their bony hands, and, hearing the next step of his quest, ingrate, throws it into the Tritonian Lake,   impatiently on his way to the Gorgon’s lair (still needing a pouch … Continue reading GORGO*


by Askold Skalasky         (posthumous waltz by Chopin)   The melody spreads its pensive innuendos in the major key—or is it minor? A G leaps high into the register as if it’s found a sudden recollection once affirmed, then left behind.   The triplets flutter like a tiny wing yoked in three quarter time across the stave and hovering on the edge of a mysterious sonority sweeping the grace notes out like minute ornaments hung on a slender thread someone has wound around the moment’s vanishing,   almost two centuries ago, while the gray hour drifts amid stately portraits … Continue reading LES ADIEUX


by Askold Skalasky We’ve left the beach alone in its shadow, the ocean with its faded waves, no bathers, sailboats anywhere. What a summer it’s been— the pale blue watches stretching in the heat to affix themselves to memory, melting their movements for a while, the sweet secretions of our words like ants crawling on a metal heap. The dreamer lies saddled in the dream, a stranded sea horse, swelled and riderless, that keeps us semi-soft within its frame. Our hands point bravely to the clinging hours wanting to recollect themselves before the fall, with some slight semblance of regret. … Continue reading THE PERSISTENCE OF SUMMER