archives spring 2008



Glassjaw Grinding Legs

You tame the spider
with the back of your hand

You don't have to knock here

Our wallpaper is 
a bookshelf repeating

The spider perching near
dried apricots or plums or pears

I will never grow into you

There are only so many ways
to enter the room

This is how I eat the spider
No one knocks when leaving


I Have Been Scraps and the Fingers That Picked Them Apart

Coral bed, my gravely noise.
Intoned and lonely terrain, blurring

a year’s smoldering stock.

Little scraps scraped into little chances
to dye, to turn, to take alive.

My fingers frighten me most when they
convince me I have never been.

Clay feet and a wavering will.
Grind coral to powder my sheets,

Turn the fever with wolfdust.
When I least expect to have a chance.


There Is Also a Tug-o-War Competition Open to Anyone

Let’s plan a novelty event for the children.

A guest speaker for the tug-o-war competition
open to anyone.

Territory turns to a clock tower
where the storm can be spotted.

The juggler with a shortage
of skills is seen from above.

Let’s pull a tent over the historic range
and keep it dry. Legwarmers for everyone.

Mountaintops no longer foresee
the future bedecked in bark.

A heyday of ferns, and the triumph
of tire marks turning snow.

Let’s stand a magician in front of the children.
Open mouths for the water squirting flower.

The novelty is: it appears perfect
the first time they watch.

The competition will attract elite players.
Rope tugs back and forth many

times so that every child falls
backwards with triumph.

Their hands will burn. 


Julia Cohen is the editor of Saltgrass and has three chapbooks available: If Fire, Arrival from horse less press, Who Could Forget the Sensational First Evening of the Night, from H_NGM_N B__KS, and When We Broke the Microscope (with Mathias Svalina), from Small Fires Press. Two chapbooks, The History of a Lake Never Drowns from Dancing Girl Press and Chugwater (with Mathias Svalina) from Transmission Press, are forthcoming. She lives in Brooklyn.