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Category: Poem of the Day Series

Poem of the Day: Louise Mathias

 

PRONE, NOVEMBER

 

Just your slow, pink movements near the doorway.

If there were fields, they’d long ago rolled back in agate bliss.

Until you were indelible, a dahlia.

Bale of hay, almost made for a woman bent over.

Her pale sweet hedging (which,

in certain landscapes,

is an early form of love. )

I want you slow: birds hover near my waist.

Not sleep in the distance but the mimeograph

of sleep.

Above all else, the trembling resembles a forest.

 

—from Louise Mathias’ The Traps, Stahlecker Selections (2013)
—also previously appeared with Web De Sol

 

 

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Poem of the Day: Clayton T. Michaels

 

PRECIOUS

 

Bring me sackcloth and oleander.

Break out the shotguns.

           We’re going to town.

Changes in the weather

tracked on smoke-streaked yellowed windows

            via crosshatches thumbnail-

                           scratched into their frames.

Silences breed vacuums small enough

            to hide in the hem of a skirt:

I collect the spent matches as proof.

            (so very precious to no one else but me)

Like the granules of salt I tossed over my left shoulder

and several dozen miles worth

                        of broken guitar strings.

There are ashes in the lake.

There are termites in the marrow.

I have aluminum stuck in my teeth.

            (bring me a glass of water and I’ll tell you everything)

 

—from Clayton T. Michaels’ Watermark, Phoenicia Publishing (2010)

 

 

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Poem of the Day: Lisa Nanette Allender

 

L.V. WOMEN

 

The Women wear their hair
like a blonde ballet
trained to perform
each golden strand
sun-bleached and
chemical-precision,
in perfect position.

The women wear their skin
unnaturally tight
dry and porous
like the concrete surrounds,
pneumatic-pillow breasts
under their gowns.

The women wear their men
on their arms
never hand-in-hand,
old enough to be their fathers

The men
whose tanned, wrinkled hands
perch like brown birds
on the mechanical devices,
hungry,
they scavenge
seek sustenance
in this bright space
painted sky
clouds like candy
hung too low
the birds scatter
over tables,
over currency.
Some of it:
cash
some of it:
women,
skirted in anonymity
eyes uplifted
in a dark beg,
a not-too-solemn promise
to behave
like their blond strands
to be a medal
for the men
who leave this,
the casino,
otherwise
empty-handed.

 

—previously appeared on Goodgoshalmighty and Lisa Nanette Allender’s website.

 

 

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Poem of the Day: Michalle Gould

 

WHEN I WAS NAKED

 

I was the sturdy bowl of plums half-buried in snow
outside the artist’s studio. He paints the shades of purple
reflected in condensed water on my skin.

I was the snowy hill topped by a nun’s black habit,
a fall of dark hair descending to wintry shoulders,
an infinite stretch of icy skin.

My body was a mystery. The anatomist
touched his scalpel to the edge of my jaw,
opened his sketchpad and drew back my skin.

The courtesan in Osaka tried something new, trimmed away leaves,
stem, floated me—denuded lily—in a stone bowl full of milk.
A day later, the bowl was scattered petals on a blue-white skin.

A vine is a humble creeping thing, but clustered in boastful fruit.
We called to the artist, “I am emerald! I am amethyst!”
until some wild animal left us naked, eating only our skin.

In a cemetery, a mole tunneled back and forth between the graves,
extended blind fingers, knew before any scientist,
the last to go is hair. The first is skin.

 

—from Michalle Gould’s Resurrection Party, Silver Birch Press (2014)

 

 

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