Poet as Housewife

February 10, 2020

Always a broom leaned against a wall,
meals never on time, if they come at all.
Days without dates through which she moves
empty and stubborn, slightly confused.
Ironing hung dejectedly over a chair,
gestures that come from who-knows-where.
Old letters unanswered, piled together,
papers and pills stuffed deep in a drawer.
Thankful to be part of your heart’s great whole
yet devoted to the limits of her own small skull.
O orderly biped, take heed,
leave her alone — let her read.

Elisabeth Eybers
Trans. Jacquelyn Pope

Love’s not the way to treat a friend.
I wouldn’t wish that on you. I don’t
want to see your eyes forgotten
on a rainy day, lost in the endless purse
of those who can remember nothing.
Love’s not the way to treat a friend.
I don’t want to see you end up that way
with your body being poured like wounded
marble into the architecture of those who make
bridges out of crippled birds.
Love’s not the way to treat a friend.
There are so many better things for you
than to see your feelings sold
as magic lanterns to somebody whose body
casts no light.

Richard Brautigan

When I said I wasn’t with another girl
the January after we fell in love for the 3rd time,
it’s because it wasn’t actual sex.

In the February that began our radio silence,
it was actual sex. I hate the tight shirts
that go below your waistline.

Not only do they make you look too young,
but then your torso is a giraffe’s neck attached to tiny legs.
I screamed at myself in the subway

for writing poems about you still.
I made a scene. I think about you almost
each morning, and roughly every five days, I still

believe you’re there.
I still masturbate to you.
When we got really bad,

I would put another coat of mop water on the floor of the bar
to make sure you were asleep when I got to my side of the bed.
You are the only person to whom I’ve lied, knowing

I was telling the truth. I miss the way your neck
wraps around my face like a cave we are both lost in.
I remember when you said being with me

is like being alone with company.
My friend Sarah wrote a poem about pink ponies.
I’m scared you’re my pink pony.

Hers is dead. It is really sad. You’re not dead.
You live in Ohio, or Washington, or Wherever.
You are a shadow my body leaves on other girls.

I have a growing queue of things I know
will make you laugh and I don’t know where to put them.
I mourn like you’re dead. If you had asked me to stay,

I would not have said no.
It would never mean yes.

Jon Sands

The Fox Smiled, Famished

February 6, 2020

Gather around.

Gather around the largest fire of all,
large enough to warm the lands
on the other side of the world,
to brighten all your moons.

My burning coat swells redder by the day.
My teeth are curls of flame, my tail a flare.
My tale? Come closer. Hear it.
Closer still – the ending is a secret.
Each of you will hear
as I whisper in your ear.
Other planets joined this circle before yours, yes.
I cannot fathom where they’ve gone.
Come closer yet and I’ll share my guess.
You’re practically standing on my nose,
basking in my boiling breath.

Let me pick you up, little world,
little pup in my jaws.

Mike Allen

Moon In the Window

February 4, 2020

I wish I could say I was the kind of child
who watched the moon from her window,
would turn toward it and wonder.
I never wondered. I read. Dark signs
that crawled toward the edge of the page.
It took me years to grow a heart
from paper and glue. All I had
was a flashlight, bright as the moon,
a white hole blazing beneath the sheets.

Dorianne Laux

I am…

February 2, 2020

I’ve never written a novel, but I can write.
I’m not a poet, but I can tell a story.
I can’t play an instrument, but I can make music.
I’m not an artist, but I can paint a picture.
I’m not wealthy, but I have a lot to give.
I’m not highly educated, but I can teach.
I’m not blessed with beauty, but I am a Goddess.
I’m not a fighter, but I am a warrior.
I am not a therapist, but I listen.
I am made of many colours…
I am a rainbow.

Teresa Lewis

Yes, ‘I’m Happy’

February 1, 2020

I went looking for someplace to hide
the ocean. Selfish girl.
Trying to shut my eyes in a wave.
Line all the walls with water.

The ceiling keep screaming at me.
Dad too. Who knew
there was a continent called Zealandia
hiding in the Pacific
with a crust thicker than the ocean floor?

We live on top of plates
growing all our bodies and fir.
Blood oranges and hills.
We live like a pack of roads
howling over the earth.

I let my mouth open for language.
Siwihtâkanâpoy. Ocean brine.
Sometimes we pay for the things
we know. Soap in the mouth.
I’ve been told to expect damage.

Here’s an earthquake warning from the government:
Learn the Risks. There’s a 1 in 4 chance
you’ll be happy or shaken.

Selina Boan

Straight Talk from Fox

February 1, 2020

Listen says fox it is music to run
over the hills to lick
dew from the leaves to nose along
the edges of the ponds to smell the fat
ducks in their bright feathers but
far out, safe in their rafts of
sleep. It is like
music to visit the orchard, to find
the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the
rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself
is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
be told. It is flesh and bones
changing shape and with good cause, mercy
is a little child beside such an invention. It is
music to wander the black back roads
outside of town no one awake or wondering
if anything miraculous is ever going to
happen, totally dumb to the fact of every
moment’s miracle. Don’t think I haven’t
peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.

Mary Oliver

A Song of Anger

January 30, 2020

The wind sang
A song of anger
When a storm comes
In days of silence
All you can do
Is see tomorrow

Laura Zucca-Scott

Covenant

January 30, 2020

We talk about our day, we talk about our
Families. It seems to me to be missing the point.
I want to tell you of a slip of moonlight I saw
Over the grasses, I want to tell you how
The air tasted over the ocean. These things
Sunk to the bottom of me and changed the
Composition of who I am. This is the
Privacy beyond privacy, these are bits of
Promises to myself of what to remember,
These are the scraps of loveliness that make up
My inward temple. Oh, there isn’t a way to
Bring it up, and if there is, I don’t know it.

Catherine Simpson