31 May 2012

Evie Shockley

[from Evie Shockley's The New Black, Wesleyan, 2011]

dear ace bandage,

       the wound is hard to place.
the wound is not your job.
       i thought i needed you, but
things are already tight. you
       are like putty in my hands,
or is my thinking colored?
       flesh tone or dial tone? who
you gonna call? your pretty
       silver broach sets in, holds
you at a tension. could it
       clasp the skin together long
enough for two flaps to re-
       attach? miss match. rematch.
love. ace. deuce. game. open.

dear cuddly dharma,

       you make it easy to say no,
just. i turn a blind eye to
       temptation after staring hard
into your hydrogen smile. we
       spoon, and i hate to stir, but
fetish is always in the mix.
       even fate looks glamorous
by lamplight. spotlight. hot.
       wound or would? would or
wooden? batter batter batter!
       you have a dream of night-
marish proportions. where
       there's a will, there's aweigh.
unanchored. unmoored. off.

dear existential fallacy,

       i need you to be concrete.
you need me to liquidate
       my account. pour, pour me,
with my fluid tale. tail, to
       hear you tell it. fluent in six
currencies. dirty lucre. you
       tracking bills counterfeited
by the page. lyre, lyre, pants
       the town crier. griot. seer.
sikh. psyche. that, baby, went
       out with the dirty dishwasher.
cross my palm with olives:
       i will tell you your pastime.
your passive voice is dated.

dear gift horse,

       open wide. now bite down.
that incident was not an
       accident. don't. act like i'm
stupid. do you come with
       a saddle? which way to
the sunset? that's the thing
       about possibility: it's dark
in there. you can't judge
       an r&b song by its covers.
colors. dolores is blue: why
       must she give up her security
blanket? she's had it since
       she was born. my, what sharp
teeth you have! all the better.

dear ink jet,

       black fast. greasy lightning.
won't smear. won't rub off.
       defense: a visual screen: ask
an octopus (bioaquadooloop).
       footprints faster than a speed-
ing bully, tracking dirt all
       over the page. make every
word count. one. two. iamb.
       octoroon. half-breed. mutt.
mulatto. why are there so few
       hybrids on the road? because
they can't reproduce. trochee
       choking okay mocha. ebony,
by contrast, says so much.

Evie Shockley

10 May 2012

Julie Carr

Julie Carr’s Sarah — of Fragments and Lines, Coffee House, 2012]

Conception Abstracts

                            Heat teems from the meat of the form

      Tame heat if tame form, if maimed form then fierce.
                       Seems eaten, this mate, this timed tenant.

Tenured member of my own passive nature, I tested the
tine of the task. Desperate for some apt rapture, tapped
the lap of the master. Faster. Water and laughter, the
last splatter of summer, later, the hot slap of not
sleeping. Walled by fault, the taut self slipped. And to
what heights after?


In the second week of solid rain, Sarah. You woke at dawn with 
a head of dream. Clover’s fell enthusiasm expands in the 
perpetual bath. Sarah. The lamp suspended in the garden, 
Sarah: Cheshire-like and falsely dear. We make boats of juice 
bottles, houses of cereal boxes, cats of toilet paper, eggs of 
lavender and stone. Sarah. At the festival of water we watch an 
orchestra of children sway to the music of their strings. And in 
your room you succumb. Learn as you are dying how to 
behave like one near dead. As magpie, you are eave-bound, 
acquisitive, indiscriminate. Beak clipping the scraps of your old 
existence, the strings of your future weave, Sarah. As duck you 
are industrious, with a reed in your possession, across pond 
you slide. But here, tatter-head, you are forced into days, 
broken into hours, and those hours mercilessly sliced.

Julie Carr

08 May 2012

Arecelis Girmay

[from Arecelis Girmay's Kingdom Animalia, BOA, 2011]

Small Letter

do not go, this day, the red
of bridges, my little, stay

beside me over
the ruins of san francisco.

go, but do not go
from me, my one,

my love, my very kin
who I laughed with in our sleep

every night, my dream
beside your dream, for a year.

wrecking ball despedida, wreck
the great rooms in my chest & take

my last song, but do not leave me
on this earth, my one

without my one. how would
the hand ever live, if it knew

it would never braid your hair
again, or hold your face?

it would get up & walk
away forever then.

one by one my breaths
would go out looking: a procession

of homeless dogs,
                                                  or clouds