I live in a Contemporary-style house
which means no Epanaphora, Antistrophe,
Reasoning by Question and Answer,
Hypophora, Catachresis or Paronomasia,
all geometry and glass. A skylight opens.
In the junk shop, behind the display case
Unity, Mass, Coherence (Barrett Wendell)
a mannequin, maiden, mermaid overlapping
and a bald eagle that winks, in its talons
the next sentence as a banner above
a stack of spears and jar of pocket change
or people who answer to “Tribunal.”
I will be supplying contemporary detail
rather than timeless points along a line
like birds and water, love and trees.
I wish Felicia Hemans (Mrs.) or William Cullen Bryant
… had done the same. For instance,
who are the people working in the next room?
Could the writer please catalog contents of roll-top desk?
What did the butter knife seem like that day (use a simile)
beside the small faces of strawberries?
What was the red splash on the neighbor’s face
when she heard her son wasn’t coming home?
To clutter the staircase of air,
a coffee mug silkscreened with Elon Musk
Mont Blanc, Bic, and Papermate pens
a print-out from 10/30/2009 Poets.org
of Moore’s “The Fish” taped to the wall
the screen on my I-Pod is asleep
Kiss My Face Honey Calendula
a scarf that came with a $9 sari at Goodwill
around my neck, Café Bustelo on my tongue, and
I am normally a mouth breather.
I have been sitting on this front stoop
all day / watching myself go by &
“The sea grows old in it.”
One daughter is making animals from duct tape:
a ripping sound. Eagle, horse, lion
two-by-two step up to the display case
where the talon’s writhing sentence has been placed &
melted lumps of crow-blue and black jade.
is the author of four books, including Control Bird Alt Delete
. Her writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in New England Review
, North American Review
, Boston Review
, Map Literary
, and Guernica
. She maintains a mindful writing blog at alexandriapeary.blogspot.com