Issue 9: Ray DiPalma

The Apples of New York

Northern Spy and Black Twig

are grown in separate orchards

planted on the edge of a forest.

Here you see a bold outline of

the orchard keeper, made from

tongue, loam, and toothy wool.

He never once wore shoes, not

even in the most awful weather.

He never ate the apples he grew.

He was a creature of the forest,

I’m sure you know the type as

well as any do. Yes, sure of it.

Until another happens along—

they always do you know, have

this crisp Black Twig for now.


Deeply devoted to him was his

also shoeless wife, a woman of

the dark trees. More of her in II,

Acts of the Northern Spy, where

blight and misinformation marry

to bring her husband to his end.

Louche but undemanding was

the other woman, whose story

will also have its place therein.

Farewell for now. You’re being

left only with what little you’ll

remember with impartial mercy.

Ray DiPalma's books include The Ancient Use of Stone (Seismicity Editions, 2009), Pensieri (Echo Park Press, 2009), Further Apocrypha (Pie in the Sky Press, 2009), L'Usage ancien de la pierre (Éditions Grèges, 2007), Quatre Poèmes (Éditions Comp'Act, 2006) (both books translated into French by Vincent Dussol), and Caper, Volume I. (ML & NLF, 2006). A French translation of Pensieri was published in 2012 by Éditions de l'Attente in Bordeaux. Among his earlier collections are Numbers and Tempers, Le Tombeau de Reverdy, Provocations, Hôtel des Ruines, Gnossiennes, and Letters. He lives in New York City and teaches at the School of Visual Arts.