Dog Ears

    Flouncing when she trots, Perked, cocked, flopped, Flattened, swiveled at Prompts of joy or itch Or curiosity, velvet Flaps opening on secret Zones of sound more Precious than what’s Hidden inside any silken Purse—awareness’s soft Synecdoches, alert just … Continued

Prepared Instruments

 After V.W. & H.D.T. How I wish someone would draft These lines for me. Perhaps I could Revise, develop, finish them, but Then whom would I owe, and what Would be demanded?  Someone Young, I suppose—amused or kind Or shrewd, … Continued

Further Notice

      Later, in the dream of having bought a rambling seaside house, in which just a few rooms had been finished—furnished, decorated— while others remained box-cluttered, empty of design or even purpose, I find a man I know … Continued

The Pretty Red-Head

“O Sun it is the time for flaming judgment,”—Guillaume Apollinaire, “La Jolie Rousse”   Always I was misunderstanding the words. Too many guns in the air to be happy. The news but a sour case of pink eye with a … Continued

Wilder Bluer Yonder

I packed my bags and left my home, and when I got to the edge, I did what everyone does and stepped off into the great blue Yawn, which I was surprised to find (though I shouldn’t have been) never … Continued

A Comforting Return

    1. On my desk, two silver and black pens— Zebra pens—wait casually at weird angles for the beginning of something         And in one of the corners of the room, a ghost-silver guitar fashioned after a … Continued

Your longed-for true form

      I watched the ceiling from my low bed. It bent when the girls danced upstairs. I looked out that window for a year, saw the water low under the bridge. I stayed as still as I could … Continued

Target™ Haibun

    I like driving around, especially in my yoga pants. I like getting out of the car, locking it, dangling my keys from my middle finger, walking through the parking lot, and into Target. When I’m longing, I like … Continued

Judith

translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal   A bored married couple of actors in front of a full hall rattle off their lines Bride and Bridegroom from the Song of Songs. Do you remember? I don’t want it that way: … Continued

Judyta

  Znudzone sobą małżeństwo aktorów przy pełnej sali odbębniało kwestie Oblubienicy i Oblubieńca z Pieśni nad Pieśniami. Pamiętasz ich? Ja tak nie chcę. Już wolę w wierszu uciąć ci głowę jak Judyta Holofernesowi i z nieco teatralną mieszaniną strachu i … Continued

On Childhood

1 My daughter has slid down in the bath so that just the island of her face breaks the surface— and when she holds in her breath her body suspends touching nothing I say can you hear me and she … Continued

On Aesthetics

  Here the boy is fifteen when his father’s friend Paul— six foot six and seething because his saxophone career ended twenty-five years ago and, ever since, he’s taught middle school—calls the boy a little prick, a little piece of … Continued

Bodacious

FOR ARCHIBALD J. MOTLEY’S BROWN GIRL   She’d walk up and take the sandwich from your hand to feed her kids She’d wear red ’round her rear on Sunday to Sunday service Her lips were painted red Her nails were … Continued

The Almost Audience (for Phyllis Wheatley)

      Of Senegambia and seven, she should have been of the not-to be-taken, the not-high price, for a not-prime boy’s a girl of the unsuitable labor (birth not work)—and that years away. (Some of the captured, their spirits: … Continued

A Dependency

          You can lose your brother to Hell and still be happy inside your house. The house has many rooms. You find elegance in its brown walls and furnishings, and though the flames that rush past … Continued

Crying

      Instead of crying on your shoulder I cry on the internet. Instead of crying I make allusions to crying by cherry picking the subjects. Instead of crying on his shoulder I build a fountain of black amethyst … Continued

A Rare Condition

After being poked & blood tested by the specialist who spoke Hmmm In several dialects including an obscure amputee sign language I eavesdropped On her conferring with beleaguered foreign colleagues by the soda machine, Whispering vowel-heavy polysyllabic antiseptic gibberish; apparently, … Continued

Drafts of Love: five poems

translated from French and Arabic by Susanna Lang and Kay Keikkinen         A woman walks by hands in her pockets once she has passed out of sight I’ll forget your last words I no longer know if … Continued