July 26, 2012

she eats her fingers
like a plastic-tipped cigar

Ella Kruglyanskaya, Sketchy Man, 2012

-- by Erin Beliieu

is not what I was though
you said I was
in an apartment in St. Louis
on a green shag carpet redolent
of the previous renter’s cat.
Above all things I am accurate.

So what to say of the sunlight?

In the 21st century, there’s nothing
to say about sunlight which lasted
as long as it takes to have sex, and

made us feel as warm as humans get,
perfectly human, perfectly warm,
though, sadly, you don’t remember this.

Though, sadly, I remember this, and
it still makes me angry— which is another word for sad
as well as a synonym for nothing.
Though if anything is,

your sadness is perfect,
your human disappointment,
which you’ve raised like a baby
in a black Baby Bjorn,

coaxing it into the best sadness
anything warm could hope for.
Your sadness gets a perfect score,
a 1600 on the GRE,

but if I had a gun,
I’d shoot your sadness through
the knee. Then the head.
Or if I were a goddess,

I’d turn you to a tree with silver leaves
or a flower with a center as yellow as sunlight,
like they used to do when saving
the beautiful from themselves.

-- by Jane Cooper

If you want my apartment, sleep in it
but let's have a clear understanding:
the books are still free agents.

If the rocking chair's arms surround you
they can also let you go,
they can shape the air like a body.

I don't want your rent. I want
a radiance of attention
like the candles's flame when we eat,

I mean a kind of awe
attending the spaces between us --
Not a roof but a field of stars.

-- by Leonard Nathan

Through an open window of late summer evening
a woman cries, Ah-ah-AH!

Neighbors pause, blush perhaps, then go on
with their homely chores, smiling to themselves.

What do you do with this—another’s shameless,
lonely ecstasy? Or your own? I put

a tape of Mozart on to cover our confusion.


Blogger DRT said...

love the Erin Beliieu poem so much i looked her up. turns out she teaches at my university. thanks!

7:22 PM  

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