warm we link arms before the brawl breaks our ranks
we touch again ineffectual fist to ineffectual face
we are touched again to be peeled apart sprayed
toward sobbing and held again in rapturous pain do you remember
now singing by torchlight? do you remember the strange sounds
of which we are capable? the moan the mutter
the laugh around campfire and when campfires tamp
and glow and our bodies just cool of a blister
kind and momentary sister to sister
brother to brother all else like a staircase rises up
or helps us descend in time
it is a struggle to keep cool to fight with
one's own fire the necessary stoke and recoil.
You have your skinny pants that you never wear
but that are the barometer. You have your fat pants
that you wear more than you need to. You have your
period pants that are dark and thick and forgiving
You have your period panties.
I have a new resolution not to wear my period
panties at non-period times. I have gotten into the
habit of wearing only my period panties and pretty
much never wearing my other panties, my nice
panties. My resolution is to wear nice panties every
day, even the days I don’t think l’m going to have sex,
even on the days when l’m going to ride my bike.
Once, in the locker room at the YWCA after tot
swim class, I saw another mom who was wearing
beautiful, chic mocha panties and a matching bra
even though she had just come from swim class and
had a kid. The panties and bra looked French, and so
did the mom. I swore right there and then to wear
my nice panties every day, even though my nicest
panties aren’t as nice as those panties were.
But then I got pregnant again and never felt like
wearing nice panties.
So that was three years ago. Exactly three years and
I am finally hoping to make good on my promise of
Thus far I have kept my nice panties promise for
about a week and a half. It’s been difficult. Almost
every day I reach for my period panties but I haven’t
relented. It does feel good to wear nice panties,
though it pains my heart to get on a bike or go to
sleep without sex when I am wearing them.
Even when the nice panties are not two-hundred-
dollar hand-washable silk tap pants, nice panties
are a conundrum.
If you enjoyed this poem, please support the poet and purchase Arielle Greenberg’s fascinating, honest, nuanced and insightful book “Locally Made Panties”.
My wife found one
on the internet
With only one foot
Wikipedia Poem, No. 572
“Overture of my voice like the flash of bats. / The hyena babble and apish libretto. // Piscine skin, unblinking eyes. / Sideshow invites foreigner with animal hide.” from Cathy Park Hong’s ‘Zoo’
they move today as was written hold that sound
against one of
they move today dog hyper-aware and read by complex formations
me she or has gone
they move today perspicuous improvisational solo
explain more clearly
they move today it is being written
hold it against one's patience
they move today for difference radiates
one of us curious dog
I was sausage master of Minsk;
young girls brought parsley to my shop
and watched as I ground
coriander, garlic and calves’ hearts.
At harvest time they’d come with sheaves:
hags in babushkas, girls plump
as quail, wrapped in bright tunics,
switching the flanks of oxen.
Each to the other, beast and woman,
goggle-eyed at the market’s flow.
My art is that of my father:
even among stinking shepherds, bean-
brained as the flocks they tend, our
sausages are known. The old man
sits in back, ruined in his bones, a scold.
So it was my trade brought wealth.
My knuckles shone with lard, flecks
of summer savory clung to my palms.
My shop was pungent with spiced meat
and sweat: heat from my boiling pots,
my fretful labors with casings,
expertly stuffed. Fat women in shawls
muttered and swabbed their brows.
Kopeks made a racket on my tray.
But I would have none of marriage:
the eldest son, no boon,
even with the shop’s renown, was
I to my parents. Among mothers
with daughters, full-bottomed, shy,
I was a figure of scorn.
In that season when trade was a blur,
always, from the countryside, there was one,
half-formed, whose eyes, unlike
the haggling matrons’ squints, roamed
and sometimes found my own.
And of her I would inquire.
Before seed-time they always returned.
Tavern men speak freely of knives,
of this, of that. Call me a fool.
For in spring I would vanish
to the hills and in a week return,
drawn, remote, my hair mussed,
interlaced with fine, pubescent yarn.
Source: Kleinzahler, August. Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club: Poems : 1975-1990. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. Print.
Wikipedia Poem, No. 530
“I felt very human.” Ariana Reines
Driving 80 down the Turnpike, I begin typing into my iPhone:
I’m obsessed with petri curls
UV fancy s longways
Transfixed a Paver
Sears zebrawood w they do but know
What babe brand r u
Fine particles panicked began priests
W us Celine too
They do fast response day
Evict to satisfy Rhys speedster cat us B
Are white judges like war paint
Revved into nz taxes to pick up frenzy navigate
I have Mercedes Benz C 240 black
Is detected bet I hate the NRA
Wikipedia Poem, No. 525
“What is in those railcars is also inside my head, / or I imagine it so—no, not imagine, know.” August Kleinzahler
what you could reveal
what you’ll have to remind your story
when its over pause briefly to say: which driver
a trap? here
this arrangement of twin twigs
you’ll have to remind your story
pause a truth which drives the trap
what you could reveal
what’s your pronoun?
how deep does its ample
upholstery stop a medical
and which is the operating
out on the story and pauses briefly
who reminds the spark? you
which drives at twigs snap over-efficient dust
soak the operating table
the truth why drives at your point
operating on the spark?
to what you are rigidly bent upon
Wikipedia Poem, No. 502
“Evening of a day in early March, / you are like the smell of drains / in a restaurant where pate maison / is a slab of cold meat loaf / damp and wooly. You lack charm.” James Schuyler
my mirror body itself
skin from skin from skin from
torn from skin
like peeling paint
from skin from
skin from skin from skin
from skin from skin from skin from skin from skin from skin from skin
from skin ripped from a
from a turtle
is blood hard
i peeling separates
skin from skin from his liquid from
from skin from a turtle's shell
mirror yr mouth
n u fear
the blood is
heavy has come
like peeling paint
skin from a
skin from a turtle's shell
Wikipedia Poem, No. 491
“My office smells like a theory, but here one weeps / to see the goodness of the world laid bare / and rising with the government on its lips, / the alphabet congealing in the air / around our heads.” Denis Johnson
his lips laid
& rising with the warm
goodness of theory
there they wept rivers
over their alphabet
that would not congeal
how grave their wound
who inter their gravity
“But to say what you want to say, you must create another language and nourish it for years and years with what you have loved, with what you have lost, with what you will never find again. ”
Seferis, as quoted in Mary Ruefle’s “Madness, Rack, and Honey”, p. 191.