Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tuesday poem #295 : Kristi Maxwell : Poem Starting with a Misreading of the First Line in “The Glass Essay”

I can hear little chicks inside my dream
They sound painted                  they sound
like a feather’s most profitable idea
They sound off                the sound is off
like something in the fridge                 several days old
beans           in a different world, a newborn bean
cantaloupe   whatever it is that’s our last stage
our vegetable matter                 the world’s last vegetable lamb
This is no Easter candy   not Chik’n or counterfeit beef
to have a beef with  a fist in the feast    A wooly aphid
parades like a cleaning pad over the rough face of a tree
What does the tree care   one must not only ask
but discover a method for asking        must harvest the fiber
to process the text embroider the plant onto the sheet
along with initials            our love so natural
now   reminded of its seed                  that the seed foresees
its own flower likely has nothing to do with the eye
it’s shaped as                   but who knows               what
knows                   what


I can hear little hiccups inside my drain
The disposal needs to be addressed    Dear disposal,
dear waste      somewhere, the carcass of a deer
From the interstate, my love, driving, can find
and count every deer, coyote, fox                 he animates
the field, brings the forest into focus   there,
there   It’s a wonder we say the world     a singular thing
a monocle resting on the galaxy’s plump cheek
the other planets mere moles    no      I can hear
little hiccups inside my brain      everyone has their own
trick to make them stop  to resurface the esophageal road
There’s been a hiccup           like an accident                bone exposed
metal plates stacked in the cupboard of one’s body
not to be taken out         no matter the guest                   We’re asked
to think about what we have, to interrogate need
What’s negated by terror Here is one more torn interior  
to tour                   one more acorn of light to misplace
in the hillside                   that swollen cheek taunted by
each gauzy cloud that does nothing for it      ok it does
something   tossing out beads of ice   of rain
as if the earth had flashed its parts      or at least
outstretched its arms, made hysterical by desire
like the rest of us             with no rest in us


I can earn little checks inside my dream        for my dream job
To knit a rind in which to enclose the wheel of sun
and its gooey light To assign the barnacle to the shipwreck
To oversee the wound as it woos the throb  To edit the house’s
biography of the last rooted tree         To tempt the glacial sadness
to carve       We are our own misinterpreted evidence
our own misdeal or mystic        our own bento box
into which the lunch of our being is divvied out among
the organic compartments        our limbs either rogue noodles or chopsticks
already snapped apart               ready to be used
regardless     or regard more                the zebras dressed up as tall grasses
a meter’s ability to discern the worth of coins                   the coin-fed
the corn-fed and the confession          the Mexican egg filled with confetti
despite having never been cracked                Was it that we wanted
to be amazed or a maze   Was it that we wanted to identify the husk
holding our succulent kernel               a core we can’t give up
that punk     shielded by us                 shielded from us
a two-way mirror   Where is the power: seeing oneself
or seeing another            That the mirror itself limits our conceptions
of empathy  suggesting as it does that we can deposit ourselves elsewhere
cash in, cash out    invest          The terms already decided
Do you agree to the terms

Kristi Maxwell is the author of seven books of poems, including Bright & Hurtless (forthcoming from Ahsahta Press), My My (forthcoming from Saturnalia Books), and PLAN/K (Horse Less Press). She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisville.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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