Presenting engagements (including reviews) of poetry books & projects. Occasionally there will be Featured Poets, as well as offerings from "The Critic Writes Poems" series. Deadline is ongoing: reviews will be posted as submitted and accepted. Please engage!
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
THE CRITIC WRITES POEMS: JUDITH ROITMAN
from Because You Have No Name I Will Give You One
Diving into the well
he found a quarter, two dimes, and three pennies.
I would go back for you. I would
remove everything. I would add more towel racks. I would buy more toothpaste. I
would raise my hand. I would check my wallet. I would do it all. I would do it
over. I would do this for you.
Who are you? How can you stand there
in the kitchen? Why is there a knife in your arm? What happened to your legs? I
thought I knew you. I thought you would climb ladders for me. I thought you
would roll in the mud with me. I thought you would fix the tv. My phone is
under the couch. My computer is in the basement. I don’t know what to do.
Too many parties will
get you nowhere, but an automobile will get you some place, guaranteed
She eats scones and cupcakes. She
drinks tea and Coke. She eats crumpets, blackberries, Ativan. She drives on the
wrong side of the road. She crosses the street funny. She walks the moors like
a banshee. She demolishes the Scottish skyline. She saw a sylkie once. It had
long hair and a terrible smell. She doesn’t play golf.
You are your own default. Everyone
looks like you. Everyone thinks like you. You don’t see anything else.
skip the title the movie will still happen
She showed up. She showed up
again. He threw his towel on the rack. He threw his shirt on the counter. His
tie went with his socks. She took it as it was given. She didn’t ask questions.
She didn’t think about it.
She carried her window everywhere.
Everything she saw was on the other side. The birds are there. Their beaks
open. They crowd each other out of the nest. Their poop settles slowly through
words, bereft of meaning, take refuge under an awning in the rain
It moved lightly through the
clearing. It shimmered in the heat. She was forced out. They found her
wandering. She was the second. The first remained in the forest. Nobody wants
them after that. Nobody will take them in.
What were you doing? The doll was
at the bottom of the staircase. She could hear his step. She could see his pattern.
She could see your face. You do what you can. You slip along the railing. He
rides a turtle to the bottom. She watches indiscriminately. Her eyes turn
backwards. Someone has the key. Nobody knows how to find them.
Photograph by Geraldine Dotson
Judith Roitman has most recently published
in Otoliths, Eleven Eleven, Horse Less Journal, Talisman, YEW, Futures
Trading, Writing Disorder, and E.Ratio. Her recent chapbooks include Slackline (Hank’s
Loose Gravel Press), Furnace Mountain (Omerta), Ku: a thumb
book (Airfoil Press) and Two: ghazals (Horse Less
Press). Her book No Face: Selected and New Poems (First
Intensity) appeared in 2008. She lives in Lawrence, KS.