Jackie Clark is the co-editor in chief for LIT magazine. She is also the series
editor for Poets off Poetry, a monthly series where poets write about what
they've been listening to lately on coldfrontmag.com. Her work has appeared
in Elimae, Coconut, and Raleigh Quarterly, among other places. She can be
found online at www.nohelpforthat.wordpress.com.

I Only See Things When They Move

Restless construction,
your grievances
shake your frame

in unflattering
ways. Everyone is

like whirlpools
and when they tire,
couples sit and kiss

on couches that move
like whirlpools.
Green-line guard,

you are the keeper
of depositing places
and relief. Low

ridicule, your potted
hands in dirt and roots.
Your anisette coating

knocked back briskly.
Our movements under
the microscope show

steepled edges with no
mysterious cry
that adhere

to the surface
when made to adhere.
There is no misconception;

testimonials bore
bookcases; things are
getting worse.

Brief tidings
jut out from
suspension bridges

but aren't mentioned
until they swing
loose. I am

encouraging applause
because it is pleasing
to be in agreement,

in red velvet
saddles, provocateurs
of the fourth wall.


Like various places
with the same song,
same seat, the same
following through.
Contained places,
judging gradually
& making note while
sitting under nighttime
skies. By day, one
can either sit facing
the window or away,
sun as supplied advantage.
Somewhere the lawn
is still green & promising.
The you in this poem
is far away & knows
that all the speakers
it has ever met
have left, gone to stand
at another precipice.
Not knowing any better
is all primitive means.

From Today

Drawing closed
drawers and other
things with latches.
Hands as pleasure,
nodes of the quarry.
Radio frequencies
in lulls, in the red
room where you sleep.
At night my bed
faces the door. I know
you are one room
over like I know
the stable pride
of things called
home: despondent
& paper craft.

The individual speaks of further roads,
unconcerned with specific description.
Footfalls are in competition with duration.
Our green cherries hang generously above.
My hands are heavy & uneventful,
these things take time to figure out--
for instance, the way the shingles overlap.
I am driving through beachfront towns
amongst the brown pebbles of nature
reserves and insects.

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