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May 11, 2016 | Poetry

scenes from the japanese pavilion 

Lucy Tiven

scenes from the japanese pavilion  photo

1

how can it be   that in dreams 
everyone you’ve drowned  comes back to you
the tv in the war room, old emails  

2

popular things to paint
water
fish, actors

women

red, roads, the president


3

as if longing had a bottom you could get to
I remember walking past churches and green lawns
waiting for E’s band to play 
standing next to his mother who hated me
feeling like a part of my life had stopped
in the middle of New Jersey. all of this
is just another dead hemisphere
I can go back to now 

4

it is not a crime to remember half the metaphor  
or to leave your wife & take the refrigerator with you    

I hate the word pussy  hate the erotic   is that poetic truth? is this? 

imagine an end to opulence

pink fish on a teal plate

i thought they were sunbathers

5

The fall of my sophomore year, four bodies were found in a hollowed tree-trunk close to campus. The alarm went off in my nighttime poetry workshop. No one cried. No one’s poems improved. Later, two friends thought they had heart attacks and were taken the ER in the middle of the night, declared fine, and sent home. Someone told me he thought the cafeteria water has LSD in it.

6

another kind of crime scene
walking to the post office with A
to vote   laughing at the political girl who yelled at us
for saying we weren’t going to    I guess she was right  file with the others 

for him was that the beginning of love? for me it was an island

1 moment of safety  to run from later 

what you empty empties you back: ambien, gold clouds   


7

more elegant things: snow on plum blossoms
in the japanese pavilion   a courtesan shields
her face with a teacup    
                                             it looked like a gun.

no such thing as hard science 

today tila tequila is astral projecting  

8

imagine not knowing motherwell read lorca.
imagine burning seaweed for salt.

9

all i wanted was a plane ticket, clear weather
or some immediate fragment  of objectivity 

the size of crumbs   birds fight over
                                                                 through a window
                                                                 in the airport.

the 1830s national economic crisis brought an end to the illustrated novel 

           & its lavish hued flutes

10

everyone leaves their mother on outskirts of a hurricane

remember the Kmart P drove to drunk  
before we took his keys? who went off lithium that summer?

what were we doing the in woods?  acting like we were hiding a body 

                 at least that's the only way it can see it now 

                 taking in details  as part of some greater, cosmic darkness 

           & returning with ice   for the vase  

 

image:


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