spacer

Elaine Equi

 

I Speak a Dialect of Glitter

Of light on water

and the movement of each
individually and together.

It is not a metaphor for splendor.

It is a wedding of elements.

The Greeks, seeing the god in all,
would have understood.

When I write of water and light,
I speak to those things as much as to you.

 

Scrabble with the Illuminati

           1.
Canary Radio

Mime
becomes
mimeo.

Snow
on the
zax box.

Voices
gel.

Have
becomes
shave.

Hew
becomes
whew.

Okra.
Ki.

Yes!

           2.
Club Zig

Owner
axes
plans

for
banal
lemon

ants
advent
event.

 

           3.
POOF!

Dad devoured the crone
and threw his fez
in the trash.

The djinn
took out his pain-kit.

The monk
took his dick in hand,

admonishing: “Don’t be naïve.
It can’t always be figs.”

 

Ode to Distraction

Give me something
not to pay attention to
and I’m happy.

Some things
grow better
with neglect—

spring up when the mind
is elsewhere.

A strange, wild flower
that doesn’t care
for compliments.

It is also good to be lost
in some simple activity
you have no interest in.

Just as there is art for art’s sake,
why not a pure form of distraction?

One says: “I love you to distraction”
meaning, in a way, I can’t stand
to actually see or think of you.

 

Better is Better Than Not Better

Grateful today
for small things:

getting paid
              and paying bills,

my new orange
ring-of-Saturn
dinner plates,

              spaghetti,

wine,

the ability
to praise coherently
the books I love.

 

If I Have Just One Word

Well, still that’s a lot
of possibility.

A word can be a shriek
or a chrysanthemum—

barbed
or honeyed—

or maybe one of those
nonchalant, writerly words,

a preposition, pronoun,
conjunction on its way
to the soiree of a paragraph,

something to say
there’s plenty more
where that came from.

 

Elaine Equi’s book, Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2007) was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award and on the short list for Canada’s prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize. She has also published many other collections of poetry including Surface Tension, Decoy, Voice-Over, which won the San Francisco State Poetry Award, and The Cloud of Knowable Things. Her work is widely anthologized and appears in Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology and in several editions of The Best American Poetry. In addition to The New School, she teaches at New York University and in the MFA program at City College of New York.

 

to top

spacer
MadHat, Issue 15, Winter 2013-2014