Search results for 'Poems of the Week Part 2'

Poems of the Week – Julie Doxsee

4 Oct


Your Dry-Eye Curse

Because that cloud
I’m pointing to has been raining on my town
six years straight

it’s not the weight of the
house affecting
my disappearance into
mud. You’d
sink when the part of
our body that is legs
takes charge.



Achilles on the moor
sees a rash of footprints

followed by a

collage of peafowl.

Not so pinheaded
to count

flaws of the

wing. One only. Out of
eighty birds.

Cavalry, bring

out your ponies for little old
me. Pie cools, falcons loop-to-loop

either with or against the thrust.


Roped-Off Gravity

A glint of blue

butterflies its way
across the

throats of seven

A wheel is

the forwardness
we thought

emerged only as


* all poems from undersleep, Octopus Books, 2008.


Poems of the Week – Forthcoming 42 Miles Press Author Allan Peterson

25 Jul


Who speaks for the body? We do.

Every eminence named, each fossa,

eloquent structures of shining bones

as if standing undone on a hill above Urbino,

artists making bright lines in bright sun,

bright language as the bones resurface

after an interim of flesh. Ribs, phalanges,

wings of the sphenoid, shapes named

for what they resemble, scapula a spade.

And how we look lovingly seeing a body

that does not clatter apart, that articulates

without ligaments, that presents in October

poignant reminders begging at our doors.
* originally appeared in Kestral.
Easy Believers

Last night tried to accentuate the stars

by staying darker than usual

the dark of the body inside the body

onyx as Satan’s crows

suggesting it had been touched in places

with a hot wire like a skin

that powders from that same experience

We are easy believers

and it takes only some voice of authority

to say inside the body

is none of our business if organs shift positions

at night and a cure is to drink

nettle from a church bell or that to survive curses

a mandrake must be uprooted

by a black dog on a rope then struck dead
* originally appeared in The Gettysburg Review.
Hard Times

Thanksgiving and transient asters

of north wind bloom on aluminum

as sea gulls plunder mergansers

I had been watching accidentals

and the wood that turns liquid

and the anxious copper-covered wren

Machinery is no metaphor for this

nor scapula nor a trace of chains

In hard times we simply acknowledge

each relentless hour has sixty teeth
* originally appeared in Right Hand Pointing.

Poems of the Week

21 Mar



This is the city
alleyway of windows
with shadows passing for time:

if it ends in an ocean or river of inanition
those roofs of powder blue and
terracotta pink would be a childhood sky

could be trees fusing
into a grand piano
of Kelly green

could be sheets of apricot rain
on mountains passing their shadows
off as clouds

and there you are in the rearview
cut out and refracted onto the road

among silent palms
uniform slope of stucco beneath
a whitened density of blue

so that houses seem carved
from a topiary of air and earth

as your eyes rove over hills
in an atavistic search
for the sea

Black Painting #2: The Dead

Blue winter rain
that’s what you’ve become

whitewashed by weather

this window
beyond being

the elements eat you

damp cold
of the first winter

now the second
you said you wanted

to travel
now you’re still

blotches of flight
descend into your

stationary car

Discarded Clothes

are flags of our own disapproval
lineaments of an evening we discard
as quickly as some friends

if there’s a freckled monument to gloom,
it passes. Lovers of the daily
who repeat for us an antic state

return with small remembrances of leaves.
We watch them buckle and heave, tell
of our quick departure into flesh

white lilies on the pond’s edge
grow splotchy and dream:

Your pants are made of wind,
your shirt from daisies blown
to dusty globes on the lake
by our breath.

*all from Serious Pink, Marsh Hawk Press, 2003.

Poems of the Week

14 Feb



I am the mirror breathing above the sink.
There is a censored garden inside of me.
Over my worms someone has thrown

a delicately embroidered sheet.

And also the child at the rummage sale—

more souvenirs than memories.

I am the cat buried beneath
the tangled ivy. Also the white
weightless egg
floating over its grave. Snow

where there were leaves. Empty
plastic cups after the party on the beach.

I am ash rising above a fire, like a flame.
The Sphinx with so much sand
blowing vaguely in her face. The last

shadow that passed
over the blank canvas
in the empty art museum. I am

the impossibility of desiring
the person you pity.
And the petal of the Easter lily—

The ghost of a tongue.
That tongue of a ghost.

What would I say if I spoke?


A knife plunged into the center
of summer. Air

and terror, which become teeth together.

The pearl around which the sea
formed itself into softly undulating song—

This tender moment when my father
gives a package of cookies to my son.

They have been saved
from the lunch tray
for days.

in a sponge. The expressions on both of their faces. A memory I will carry
with me always, and which will sustain me, despite all the years I will try to
prescribe this memory away.

The Key to the Tower

There was never
There was never
A key to the tower

There was never a key to the tower, you fool

It was a dream
It was a dream
A mosquito’s dream

A mosquito dreaming in a cage for a bird

It’s October
It’s October
The summer’s over

Your passionate candle in a pumpkin’s head
And the old woman’s hand in this photograph
Appears to be nailed to the old man’s hand

And the sky
And the sky
And the sky above you

Is a drunken loved one asleep in your bed

And the tower
And the tower
And the key to the tower

There was never a key to the tower I said

And this insistence
This insistence
It will only bring you sorrow

Your ridiculous key, your laughable tower

But there was
There was
A tower here

I swear

And the key
And they key
I still have it somewhere

*all from Space, in Chains, Copper Canyon Press, 2011

Poems of the Week

7 Feb

Three poems, three poets.


Cafes at Night

What world is it that rises
From this world at night when
The waitresses with wondrous
Hairstyles emerge, put on skirts
And Eyes, and the whole green light
Behind the counter blooms into faces.
We could speak of wearing raggy
Shawls of boredom, or even of

Tenderness. Everywhere I look
There are blessings of jewelry, heels,
The amnesia of lipstick, sleep . . .
The stooge in the booth dozes
In such a pink light he gathers
Knowledge of how his own body
Travels and enters other bodies lovingly.

There is the puny waitress,
Her hair in lit syllables,
Who works all night, whose hands know
The Latin of silverware.
And what world is it that rises
From the city’s dunes with its ghosts
Of waitresses, their ankles always

Wishing to be touched,
And the raincoats coming in at ten,
And feet that know the silence
Of couches, and eyes that know
A smoggy silence, and faces,
Where the cries begin, where the sad
Animals leave their light—
Until we are all one body,
The bozo in the kitchen, the shy waitress,

The invading bowlers,
The town’s feather’s of small danger.
And I believe: this is where I live
In all this vein of longing, in this city,
And the heavy woman inside me
Who wants bacon and sex
Lives here, and I believe how
The dark outside will change
And eight year old grandsons
Will throw rocks at moonlight.
2:00. The waitresses glide out,
An accident of swans,
Into what worlds and what music?


Roving Reporter

I’m perfectly sure it’s not about being saved
or living this life as preparation. It’s about
waking in a strange bed, suitcase lost,
children smacking eels against the dock,
the impenetrable rotation of the guards,
adumbrations of cloud.

It’s clutching the leg of a chair, crying, Help
on a chunk of ore
whistling through the cosmos.

Last night, under the glowing highrise,
I shouted Charlotte into the epileptic stars
until the revelers, already hating me,
brimmed with fear.

Yellow pinpricks opened in my head,
first contact with the big blackout.

Maybe I was trying to shout
Charlotte clear out of existence,
the way insistence becomes erasure,
a repeated word a senseless blue beginning.

Maybe there was never a Charlotte I wanted so,
followed to this island that was once a leper colony,
now fully of guys in epaulettes holding open doors.

Maybe I’m just a figment
in someone’s dream I never
really knew, a prop in someone else’s symbolism
or repression and need. Aren’t we just each other’s
nocturnal inklings? Isn’t the world a drunken sleep?

I mean I might have known a Charlotte once
whose letters seemed to have come from quarantine,
parts of animals enclosed as proof of what
I did to her: moth wing, cricket’s leg
like a violin bow upon a rumpled bed.

I remember red
streamers tied to a fan wire’s face.
I remember head. Somewhere above me I know
the golden body sleeps, fussed over by giant bees,
the distillate’s of a thousand lilacs
drooling from their jaws.



The long night wandered on
seeking some adventure of its own
I found your ear above
your beloved jaw & kissed it
in the lee of a Christmas tree
blinking idiotically
saying we were going
to justify kissing, or kissing
to justify going. Why she
invited you & Mother
to such a kiddy soiree beats me she
was supposed to be my friend
the kind who knows your secret
shames it smelled sweeter than
a Daddy’s ear should smell
it was firmer & warmer my mouth
stayed there beyond the
split second it would normally have taken
to bid someone goodbye, pressed
against your stupefying flesh
You said what’s going on
before jerking away
after squeezing my arm
I was abusing you
before it became the thing to do
but like everything else we
did it was in reverse Oh my Father,

*all from Passages North Vol.16.2 Winter 1995, Ed.Michael Barrett

Poems of the Week

15 Jan


Letter II

rain is known as soft water
I am using the word “deft” to refer to a mimetic body. Though ivy
faces seem not to chance while we are tangled in them. For example,
the vehemence surrounding a furnace is said to cause fault lines. Their
typology is based upon the expression about the mouth.

The tiled flowers have grown dim. Was there nowhere but here?
The scent surmised a glass full of tremors. Misplaced a hound for a
windowpane, a conclusion for a prescription and now that the liminal
status has departed, I wondered and he made and explanatory model
of his sleep.


The paper bridge escorts us to where we have less estuaries
the front yard trembling

Anemone, he said,

changing the word with the substance of his mouth


Green gravel
in milk
and otherwise
what matter?

She will lie
her every
to life
the lavishly

To be written
in thick sheaves
upon loaves.

*all from The Scented Fox, Wave Books, 2007.

Poems of the Week

3 Dec


From the Train

Just before the sun vanished
behind a row of warehouses
and before it came flooding
back to rinse the shadows
off our clothes I noticed something—
It was only a scrap of paper,
but it hung on the exposed wall
of one of the partially demolished buildings
that floated past.
I also noticed the outline
of an old stairway
and worn florid green wallpaper
going up at least three flights
to where the paper hung
below the high streaked curve
of the sky in the almost horizontal
sunlight of the evening.
And I thought how whoever
once lived in that shape
must have written something on it.
Something important.
And nailed it up on the wall.
And later on left.
The way we all will leave
where we are now.
And then I imaged
it was even a poem
only the wind was reading.
And I thought how in the end
all that will be left is space.
Because we can’t destroy it.
And perhaps a few poems
in certain unsuspected
places that are there because they are.

Everything is True

There is a room of the past and a room of the cosmos.
A room of chandeliers and a room of peonies dropping
their pink beauty onto the old table. There is a house
with walls of weathered clapboard and paths that lead
both to the ocean and to the mountains and at dusk
to the anonymous blue airspaces of the city. There are
high double-hung windows and doors with etched glass
behind which the rooms are lit like yellow leaves in the
night. Everything is true inside the house as well as
outside the house—where at this moment rain is fall-
ing through the lit darkness around the streetlamps and
through space that has nowhere else to go.

Late at Night

It’s late at night
and I am on the train
and the man
sitting next to me
is eating himself up.
Limb by limb,
pant legs, shirtsleeves
shoulder blades and all.
The last thing he eats
is his skull,
chunk by thoughtful chunk
ending it
with his own mouth
chewing on itself
before swallowing
with a throat
that’s already gone.

*all from Astoria, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006.

Poems of the Week

17 Aug


All Tomorrow’s Parties

Expect no takers. Don’t hate Queens.
Where everyone is smoking
is and is not here. Lumberjack
stares at the boyfriend, the boyfriend.

Serious? Serious? Like interns
on TV. Like, fun. Another malady.
Cat and mouth and cant and mouse.
My sentiments exact.

Swallow, stumble
pie could not but sweeten
in a saucer, tarter saucer.
Dress mine with lime, with lime.

Each one blows the next in line.
Had I courage, I’d warm the others.
Night-night the only greasing.
The wind troubles me also.

Arcades Palare

Woke up bruised, fruit that I am. Prepare a drink called
Ultimate Meal. It does not assist suicide. Nothing to do in
January but write, with movies so bad. Someone whisling
Rod Stewart. Maybe a little sexy. Fall in love with a saint.
Winter in love with summer. Spring left to its own devices and
fortunately never rusts. The man who fell to mirth. Improve
your Flash skills without a trench. Want ads. To go away.

Making Eyes

Ground, white.
Then hole for light

the size of why
not a pine nut?

Go with two.
One goes blank,

you’ve got your

& parallax fixes
lazy ones.

Render edge
of obscure moon

an index
of spectrum:

gem rims,

softens the

*all from The Next in Line, Slope Editions, 2008.

Poems of the Week

9 Aug


R3. War of Maneuver

If the sharpshooter were a smoker
cause would be the panoply of causes
and action would clot around the partisan
rather cigarette burns, rather upholstery buttons
the tearsheet beside the page
yielding paper dragons of autobiography.
Your cold exercise of identity
has an eye to the aquarium.
I need at least that seeing eye
to explain the means of falling on the page.
You are a simplification
exhumed from peat. In the dumbshow of sealife
who is there sees things. The tattoos
poking over the collar voice
an aroused indifference, laughing hearty
and rolling away in lieu of answer.

R5. Marcelled Men of War

When the road warrior asks accommodation
give in sighing. Your newfound gravitas
will be there to fret all conversation
and you will cheat often
toward crowds that will absorb you.

In the face of danger
find a strategy of misrepresentation.
Draw a figure when they expect a grid, explain
the layers of dust as a question of lighting.

Such a face as yours is not enshrouded
in old paintings. Get into robes
and let your gothic give way to dark.

When pity and fear slip into the river system
make nowheresville a fortress. Keep the skiffs
from running aground and scrub the shore
with transcendent whimsy, improvise
devices with the lifeways of a doll.

R13. Written into the Bestiary

The bluejay and the red-eyed lamb
were cheap toys

for phalanstery kids
Some magic show

their park of declarations
All larking

had been a mistake
When you were born

the wolves outside
their footfalls never neutral

abducted the plush symbols
there to greet you

Leaving you sungazing
in pine sap and ambient noise

Things in themselves
wavering in the grove

A beginning indentured you here
on the inmost beaches

surrounded by ventifacts smooth
out of the cannibals’ poems

*all from Refrains/unworkings, Apostrophe Books, 2008.

Poems of the Week

8 May


Dark Matter


Who am I
to experience a burst
of star formation?

I know this –

after the first rush
of enthusiasm

any idea
recedes and dims.


Each one
is the inverse
shape of what’s


One might try
the matter up

in a single
Judas kiss,

all bitter-sweet

and feigned ignorance


Still the run-up
to the primaries.

Hot searches:

tiger attack,
polar bears.


Or a hint
of bitters
at the scoured edge.

Three piccolo notes
from the bushes.

A snatch
of music. Call it


Are you still interested
in the image

of this island
as a brown shoulder

or breast

by clouds?

Are you turned on
by chimeras?

The impossible woman,

part igneous,
part surge.


Go be

beaded, pebbled.

The fickle luster.
That’s right.

The fretwork
of disaster.

Go on be

shrouded by

*from Versed, Wesleyan University Press, 2009