Here Be Monsters

At this point, land disappears into a tail,

a serpent with forked tongue,

scales, eight muscled legs.


Here be the unexplained mysteries

of the universe. Here be the radiant truth

of claw and wretchedness.


Ships cannot help but sail around capes

to arrive in the mouths of beasts.

Sailors cannot escape their dark eyes.


Here be the unmappable,

the crags and cliff-faces of something

gloomy and afflicted.


Here be the stories we tell ourselves.

Here be the stories we tell ourselves

we need to survive.


Ross White is the author of How We Came Upon the Colony (Unicorn Press, 2014) and The Polite Society (Unicorn Press, forthcoming). With Matthew Olzmann, he edited Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series (Bull City Press, 2012). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Best New Poets 2012, New England Review, Poetry Daily, and The Southern Review, among others. A recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, he teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.