The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2021

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APRIL 2021 Issue


Six Feet Away from Them

It's my lunch hour, so I go
into the kitchen among the Japanese
plates. First, into the refrigerator
to feed my vulnerable
plumpening torso some leftover curry
and kombucha, with my purple leggings
on. They protect me from falling
spirits, I guess. Then into the
bedroom where my skirts are hanging up
and totally unworn – this really
grates. The sun is out, but the
virus floats in the air. I look
at bargains on Amazon. The
cat is playing in the living room.

On to the foyer, where the funky chandelier
glitters over my head, and a
a small waterfall of tears pours lightly. My
boyfriend sits in the kitchen with a
toothpick, languorous but agitated.
A governor goes live: the boyfriend
groans and rubs his forehead. Everything
suddenly sucks: it is 12 :40 of
a Thursday.

Neon in daylight is a
great pleasure, as Edwin Denby would
write, but when did I last see it?
I stop to check my facebook messages.
I’m restless and unemployed, e bella poetessa.

I bite some chocolate. A lady in
knots on such a day puts her Siberian cat
into a stroller.

There are several people out
on Ocean Parkway today, which
makes it more contagious. First
Henry Grimes died, then John Prine,
then Ellis Marsalis, Jr. But is the
earth as full as life was full, of them?
And one has eaten and one walks,
past the Azerbaijani babushkas
and the posters for dogwalkers and
the new CubeSmart storage place,
which they'll open next month. I
used to think they’d build a grocery
store there.

A glass of water
and back to looking for work. My heart is in my
throat, it is Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara.

Stucked in a Buffle Zone

A normal pandemic day,
with normal mushrooms,
and a brain coral tomb ornament.

Things fall in normal rivulets.
My face a powdered sugar substitute
hidden and masked in the wine mind.

I’m not used to the kitsune mask.
I burp Indian food into it,
then hum a feeble tune.

I want my poems
to have that lame feeling
like a game of checkers

have to put a word here

responding with palpitations
and a wild dismay
horning through the register

stroking the looseness
in a cicada’s ear

taking the iamb
out of ambition

to shun is dazzling
when you’re a rune and a hair
leafing through the old Nachtmusik

my duende
is friendly
but my negative capability
is something of a hillbilly

probably we can’t say that –
vajazzled groundhogs
peering out of a hat

checking my phone… as orchid
as a cockroach
dreaming in zoomtime

wait, my phone…

the lame feeling of chartreuse
drizzled with quillotines
in the hoary den

it’s just…organistic
in the bald hamper
with the singing chickens

I want to gnaw your leg…
but why?

I’ll lie on my side
like a liar

I’ll call a stork a stork,
shaking its head no
to defunding virus testing

I convert you
by turning you into a cow –
my free speech problem

Jesus? or
Hello Kitty?
Wait, I gotta check my phone

The arrangement
of these words –
cloves stuck in an orange

to cover up feculence

A clink – the faery
is blushing on the
polished guillotine

my brain moves
to the sound
of the air conditioner

the faery nests
in the air conditioner.
the world is fascinated

by its own depravity

it’s muggy and a bluejay’s screaming
and everything stinks of hydroxychloroquine
on the freedom from religion boat cruise.

sea pig, faceless fish, fangtooth, brittle star.
darling starling, arc of scallops, abyssal spider:
look monkeys swirling…in the soft surround

high up in muzak
I’ve got my tiger
I mean I love ya honey
but I still gotta sing my song

Raw Egg

I think it’s good
to throw a raw egg.

Astringent things make people

It’s allowed to write big tits, hag, no cute,
or beauty.

I know this kind of slazy cussing
is not good.

It makes people uncomfortable in a moment
like a lotus.

I assume the low conscious men
as viewers.

A woman who doesn’t fawning by a man.
She is a woman
who is stupid and pretending to be stupid
for these stupid men.

It’s not the time
to do the cheerleader of stupid men
all the time.

He is going to have a good time
with his nose.

Human being…as a thing…
it’s only consumed as a product.

A woman has to be a child of cute
and justice.

I don’t think about it
with my head.

You don’t swallow what people say
and examine your own head.

If people are tired,
society is also tiring.
It’s a vicious cycle
I am going to perish in.

Criticism is the etymology
of the Greek chestnut.

A tree should not be cut
in the place of surprise.

In the wandering around this tree,
there is a flying squirrel,
and it is not a great voice.

It’s like a possum to run a stem.

The one who is the one who is the one who is the one who is the one who is the one who is
the one who is the one who is the one who is the one who is the one who is the one who is
the one who is the one who is the one who is the I wish I could.

I think it’s good
to throw a raw egg.


Nada Gordon

Nada Gordon (ScentedRushes on Etsy) makes fabric cats, skirts and frocks, dolls, and little tunes and verses. A kid’ll eat ivy, too: wouldn’t you?


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2021

All Issues