from The Poor Choruses

posted Dec 2, 2008

: to swagger in half dead
beneath a kiss: on    
drugs accidentally:
a youth in syndication:

where all the anger is banished                 
below expectation or

in jeopardy: my head:
the vague unrequited swells

like a sad accordion while
indiscriminately the fucking
everywhere blooms:
then fades:

join the carnival:  in the pouring rain:
without air or very much light:

a prayer stuck to her boot heel:
with a kiwi: a blood orange:
with that belly full of night:
an elegy a walking elegy:

a little ward of a mind:
did you grow: did you hang

around wishing yours was a nicer garden
in a different country:

have you wished your guests spoke Japanese:
next your guests were speaking Japanese,

and you were miserable:
outskirt      :    memory     :     carnival     :      home:

there are almost no synonyms in this ghost town:

there are almost no accidents: and furthermore,
our antonyms are crumbling:
                              keep trying:

what’s been    always     is:
don’t know:     surf sound:     dial tone:
I love you:

Paula Cisewski is the author of Ghost Fargo, Upon Arrival, How Birds Work, and Two Museums, and the co-author of Or Else What Asked The Flame. Ghost Fargo was selected by Franz Wright for the 2008 Nightboat Poetry Prize.

We’ve published four more poems by Cisewski: “Thanks, Nebraska,” “Having to do With the Manner in Which we Transport Night,” “Ode to Continual Loss,” and “The Museum of Natural Science.”