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Sunday, April 29, 2018

That time of day, sitting in a chair

There's still time, but let's avoid
the lawn and the idea of all lawns
in time and space. Another
poet writing about her lawn, but
what does it mean to throw in
the towel and what is gained
by holding onto anything? No coach,
and the lawn is a lawn, not a boxing ring.
At work on Saturday, hanging an institutional
banner with zip ties that break.
In any lull, imagine a weekend:
A nice hotel with a tub,
imagine taking muscle relaxers,
not splitting the pills in half.
We've redacted pronouns, but
your family is still here. Not
at the hotel, but here. On the
lawn, maybe. Or gardening.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My pre-revolutionary decadence

My body is ready to defend my babyand run. The ants scout new paths.
Or I am agitated, anxious and irritable
while the male dove sits on the eggs at night
and the female roosts nearby. The mild
mania of sleep deprivation and the
sleep deprivation of late Capitalism. The
good enough worker and the good
enough mother. No more "mom" as
prefix, no more reader suggestions
on regressions and sleeping. I lack
ambition but want some things: Love,
sleep, travel, wit, a healthy spine.
A spine with natural curves. Slight euphoria.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Figure 16

 Anyone can say     he might have made errors in judgement    or most of the performers were the audience but         did the intended recipient ever hear you are my favorite professor      so far in collage?    The book most occupied       was the one counting   on modular dividers while the mail carriers      and adjuncts changed without notice Does anyone need          a general understanding when the obvious pelts us daily? Right under our noses       which have mysteriously departed or euphemism for being suffocated in the immediate death-trap         of planning or not planning for that which isn’t Paradox of discarded objects         that ought to be described                I would rather be a student     in collage than college in mess than mass         no paradise The dancers rearrange themselves to think about gravity      as agency then drape their bodies over the nearest available surface--     watermelon ottoman autocratic exaggeration each other each other           each other Attention glues to contact Instead of going to sleep she said           I’m just going to close my eyes and think about what I might dream about

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Affect-moulding behaviour

(Milk) expression. Napoleon thought he was civilized
and civilizing when he marched his army to Egypt
in 1798. And in 1932 the Seventh Heavy Battery
of the Royal Australian Artillery alighted at
Campion in Western Australia to shoot migrating emu.
That was this morning. Is a breast pump face plate
replaceable? When babies who can barely
speak great each other with waves. Rabbits touch noses,
and I am strangely familiar with colleagues. We're
alive, please don't fire me. The breast pump face
plate is broken. There is no one to appreciate
how calm I am or see my abbreviated rage
toward this badly-made object, it's design unchanged
since the 30s. Abbreviated rage about metonymy:
that old cow. There's this idea that animals can
shake off stress and not take things personally.
There's this idea that we can suffer less.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Without Warning

One day, I will begin dressing like Tania Balachova
as Inèz Serrano in Huis clos and I will be
honest about my evil deeds and cruelty.
But just now I tried to rub toothpaste
into my dry hands. I have a leather sofa
from Ikea, not un canapé bleu. I think of the savory 
snack first not an antique sofa.
I'm so tired. An antique sofa sounds uncomfortable.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Jennifer L. Knox in the Washington Post


Screenshot of top portion of Washington Post article by Jennifer L. Knox. Headline reads "I really wanted that student to feel censored: A poetry class confronts slurs, and finds grace." There is a small author photo in the lower right.


A glorious surprise! We didn't know this was coming, but it's a great piece in the Washington Post for National Poetry Month/NaPoWriMo, in which Jen discusses what happened in her classroom when a student (for the first time in her experience) included an ableist slur in a poem he brought to workshop.


Find all four of Jennifer's books—Days for Shame & Failure, The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway, Drunk by Noon, and A Gringo Like Mein our store here.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

8

[expired]

An Elaborate Kind of Turn

When emotion becomes uncontainable, what
happens when we map the cave, visit the penguin

colony, create a database of all the flowering trees
in our quadrant of the city? I've said that linoleum

would be better than wall-to-wall, that a cave
is as good as a portal, that I'm sorry for breaking

that vase while doing a particular kind of pirouette
with a name I don't know then remember:

fouettees rond de jambe en tournant. It's absurd
to wake up in bed instead of somewhere on the

Platte River in Nebraska at sunset, near migrating
sandhill cranes. In the story, she does not dream of levitating.

She just levitates.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Water, Light, Air

I'm giving you everything. You can't
know anything. She's not going to read that
Jean-Paul Sartre play, not today. To celebrate
an unremarkable birthday in her late 30s,
she went to a Theravada Buddhist monastery
in rural West Virginia to cultivate awareness
of death. "Of course I want to die, Mom."
There are hundreds of mattress reviews
declaring how "very firm" the mattress is,
but it's so soft, and what is language, anyway:
"Sometimes I lay in bed and think about
what it would be like to live on a pirate ship,"
she said. I look at a bird, probably a robin
or sparrow or dove. Imagine rage you cannot imagine
between every sentence.  What has someone
done to you and what have you done. What's missing
is the sound of the dishwasher. The headache 
that begins in your teeth. The sound of your
sweetheart breathing. Everything is missing.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Kash6: 8-count

She walked at a clip down the street 
in front of his shop every week-
day for seven years. All spring long 
she wore an ankle-length raincoat-- 

eggshell--whether or not the fore-
cast called for it--and a matching 
hat in rain, but did not clutch an in-
elegant umbrella. Pastel

sweaters took her through fall, as if 
November could chance courting May. 
He never stepped out, purposely
forgetting apron, to sweep clear 

the stoop. He imagined she had 
a schedule she would mind him up-
setting. It pleased him to refrain 
from causing her inconvenience.

Minor exchanges he made up 
he filled with fine talk, her pale voice 
tidy. She must be frugal, yes—
wasn’t the coat proof? He could not 

fathom the type of woman who
would repurchase a piece season
after season and--once it be- 
came finally unfindable--

have it unconstructed and re-
made. Yet her walk-bys were as Swiss 
as clockwork. Of his dreams he did 
not want to be cured, though they be

lean game. Her face was not the face 
he dreamt of as he cut. Faces
matter little when a life is 
freshly killed red slabs twined, packaged 

in brownpaper, unspoilt. What is 
a yolk but a bit of sun saved 
for breaking later--on the day 
she fails to rise to precisely 

cross the vision of a humble 
man? An egg can be beaten, is
indeed pleasurable to beat.
A metronome beats until stopped.