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By (May 1, 2008) No Comment

Following the first, second, and third parts of the epic poem in earlier issues Open Letters is proud to present the third installment of Adam Golaski’s Green. —The Editors

{ a shock’v green’nd wonder }

Arthur’nd Arthur’s court

look’d long’nd in wonder, + wondered what kind’v man be-held them,

wondered what this magical spectacle must mean,

f’r’a knight’nd’is horse to’ve accrued such’a hue that is


green as th’grass’nd growing greener it seemed

green glow’n’nd bright’nd brighter than enameled gold.

All stood + studied + stalked at th’Knight,

green w/ all th’wonder in th’world’nd wonder at what he might render,

for though they’d seen much, at this they saw silence, fell silent f’r’a sight they’d never seen,

+ since they’d never seen such a sight, th’folk deemed th’Knight’v phantoms’nd fairies.

Th’green freak stunned all

+ all were slack as if slipp’d t’sleep,

their speech——


|| Not all, I deem, were dumb from doubt or dread;

I’ve heard’v silence that is courtesy.

Here, t’honor for whom all bowed their heads,

for Arthur t’decide what we should say.

{ “I crave from this court a Christmas contest” }

From th’high dias

Arthur beheld adventure unafraid + so said,

“Knight, welcome indeed to this place,

th’head’v this house Arthur I am;

leap lightly adoun’nd linger, I thee pray,

+ what so ever thy will is what we shall wait after.”

“Nay, as help me,” quoth th’Knight. “He that on high sits,

t’wait awhile was never at all my errand;

but for your renown, oh lord, lifted up so high,

+ thy birth + thy brethren held t’be th’best,

th’sternest steal-geared steel riders,

th’wisest’nd worthiest’v y’r kind’nd

f’r pure, worthy play, there’s none th’like;

+ here, chivalry is shown, so’s been bragged.

That has waylaid me hither, indeed, at this time.

You may be certain by this branch that I bear here,

that I pass in peace, + no plight seek’d;

for had I founded forth f’r fighting ways——

I have armor at home + a helmet both,

+ shield + a sharp spear, shining bright,

+ other weapons t’wield, I ween well, also;

but, for I willed no war, my wardrobe is softer.

But if thou be as bold as all braggarts tell,

thou will grant me godly th’gomen that I ask

by right.”

Arthur then answered sure

said, “Sir courteous knight,

if thou crave battle bare,

here fails you not to fight.”

“Nay, fear not, in our faith I tell thee, no fight.

Besides, about y’r bench’r but beardless boys.

If I’m’n armor’nd on an armored horse,

there’s no man my match, make no mistake.

Nay, I crave from this court a Christmas gomen,

For this is Yuletide + New Year, + here are your many:

if any in this house holds himself hardy,

be bold in’is blood’nd w/ brawn’n’is head,

that dare stiffly strike a stroke f’r another,

I shall give’im a gift’v this rich axe,

this axe, that is heavy enough to handle as’e likes,

+ I shall bide th’first blow as bare as I sit.

If any fellow be so fearless as to follow what I tell,

leap lightly t’me, + lock this weapon——

I quit claim to it f’rever——keep it as’is own,

+ I shall stand’im a stroke, stiff on this floor——

assuming thou shall do me the honor to deal him another


+ yet give him respite,

twelve month + a day;

Now hasten, let’s see if

Dare any here play.”

Adam Golaski is the author of the story collection Worse Than Myself (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2008) and of Color Plates (Rose Metal Press, 2009). Adam co-edited A Sing Economy, the latest anthology from Flim Forum Press, and he is the editor of New Genre, a journal that promotes craftsmanship and innovation in horror and science fiction. He teaches literature and writing at the University of Connecticut.