• Neuro Logical

Icicle - Casey Burchby

Phantom icicle three inches ‘round

Shoots into my left temple,

The immediacy profound;

It occurs to me to temper

The onset of panic

With a mental list of events

From the last thirty-six hours

It was my dad, I decide:

The phone call about his Amazon account

And how he claims he is “locked out” —

But his mind may be unsound

His body for certain enfeebled

(Seeing no one, doing nothing

But call my sister or me with these conundrums)

It is Christmas Eve

A storm outsider’s shed four feet of snow

And I had to act the insufficient plow

With no energy or physical power

Which is when the phone rang

And the Amazon matter relayed

With an urgency suggesting nuclear winter

While a real one bears down like a bomb


Twenty minutes of talk with my dad

Reduce me to shivering pudding

From afar I can be of no use

A computer is Greek to him anyway

The correct words I use are as white noise

With an amicable throwing up of hands,

I try to resume my day

Now it’s tomorrow and the icicle,

Which is disturbing and painful,

Is awling its way through my brain

Would I tell my dad this is him?

Would this convey the tiered pain

Of sitting on the phone with a helpless old man

And fruitlessly discussing a machine

He never understood

And will never understand?


Casey Burchby is a writer, book dealer, and arts administrator living in the Sierra Nevada. His previous work has appeared in Cerasus (forthcoming), Hobart, The Raven Review, ZiN Daily (Zvona i nari), the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Village Voice, Publishers Weekly, and others.

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

i Until yesterday, Birch Lane was one of the quietest neighborhoods on the east side of town and one of the safest. It was a place where people moved to raise their children, where nearly every house

Sawyer was better off dead. He probably wouldn’t have minded dying when he should have, anyway. He, like thousands of puppies before him, entered the lab with the wrong genotype. Congenitally flawed.