From My Wherever

Forests down there, cells
and the empire where
cells replicate, slick eye
of rebirth, invisibilia, terror,
mosses, lichen, the kingdom
Animalia, mud and spit,
spirit-houses, fern-spores,
paths through the forest,
bright mushroom bursts,
orchids with lips and lashes
in cups of leaves, rivers
and mountains, mountain goats
and notebooks and ink wells
and language and the mouths
of babes, the mouths of froth,
the feet of mouths, the heart in mouths
and all that I have to say to you
is hsth. Vzt Clicking thidbbert.
I have teeth and tongues
down there. I held my children
there. I hold infinity,
teaspoons, refugees,
peace treaties, lost pieces,
ice picks, tenderness, vocabulary,
urges, humanity.
Yeah. And blood too.
appears in Who Want the World Like It Is, 2016 Election Anthology, Birds Piled Loosely


Remember July: my arms full of asters
and you called me up to the porch
where we ate from a basket of peaches
with bread and butter and wine
and our daughters climbed down
from the branches and danced
and sang on the steps. How the trees
all around smelled like sugar;
the stars jangled like buttons of brass —
how darkness came in like a child
dressed up in the cape of a king
(and don’t think of later, don’t think of now)
and the forest around us was velvet
and the meadows around us were green.
— From Self Portrait as a Clock, 2013



Think of the Swede and the winter
dark as a heart, the faint shadows of trees at noon
a fist of sleep, and in electric light
his wife pale in the kitchen
with cheese and eggs, alabaster crackers
on a white plate.

She is an unknown sea, her eyes silver fjords,
and the Swede is alone in goose down
faint in clouded sheets.
But she returns to bed like a season
and her touch is brilliant in color. Her touch
is a paisley print, a glass bowl abundant in oranges.

You see love is a consumerist passion
so no surprise that later the Swede
in his nightshirt sits
while his wife sleeps in drifts
and beneath a single bulb and in faded pencil
he writes a long list of polka dots and stripes.

From Turns Out, 2011


Anatomy Nocturne

You sleep and I stay up, leaned over a pillow

assessing your body: seven pounds of bone,

enough iron in you to make a good sized nail.

You will wake in six or seven hours

and I’ll say remember this or remember that

but I am lonely now; the dark curls and pulls

at me like the tail of a scaled beast. Why are you so tender?

How ridiculous of you to have only a fist-sized

heart, such damp and complicated lungs. You

are seventy percent water, all slosh

and tide. In my dream the sea is you,

your ribcage shore patrolled by a curl-sized god

who growls at me and holds his trident out.

His seahorse chariot splashes past.

— From Self Portrait as a Clock, 2013

2 thoughts on “Poems

  1. Dear Lisa,

    I was at the Red Wheelbarrow launch on Wednesday, and I just wanted to tell you that your poems were my FAVORITE! So fresh and original and sharp and quirky and interesting and emotion (for me.)



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