archives spring 2008



He rules his own house

— Would you do anything against your nature just to please me?
— But I have a basically pleasant nature

                                    he rules his own house

— to love is to shorten the distance between what you have
  and what you don’t — and don’t want to

— he rules his own house

go weigh yourself your destination the temperatures failing
a first someone’s baffle in the describe oh what’s the use
the camera’s on her now you don’t understand
she had a future with him didn’t she?
a perfect hairdo I watch

the decade slip covered and stamped icon
icon click for the processional double

double click and love is there
so is hunter/warrior so silent
braids of I chica chica
boom chica boom

a bridge follows across your replacement
the trees unequal to half your patterns
the rest — bird — halved again for the additional 
lurking to be registered

love is fruit
stylized and wasted
still hoping

it is day 2
you = female I
the last head

the gummy swings the pain on her side still liquored over him so
much closer to the bitterness paling her two minutes’ worth
philosophy of woe

a few yards away Seraphina ready for some more
unwelcome wake up calls looking composed
the hooting pleases her

I stitch you stitch you a lie 11 times each way
a wagering of heels pronouncing the road to hostage
most thinking banished
hear Lord have mercy Lord the clock ticks the icons burst for encounter
let’s not download all of the material too much snickering too many
oops and ughs retail for less than the proposed eventual
and Seraphina still at the window
conditioning her sutures

suture my mind Lord and tell me a story

            the little boy saw a rose/saw a rose in the fields
            he neared the red rose/to pluck to take it home
            the rose was full of thorns/it plucked the little boy
            go home to mother boy/go home boy to mother

home — boy — little — plucked — saw mother and yeah!
every creature of god is good and not to be refused but
refuse old wives’ tales (bodily exercise) till He comes
attend to exhortation doctrine read read read only
to ward God your buckler your hightower

                                    He delights in you

I leap over the wall and cross the troop lines
I praise Him for I am of dam di di di di
di di dam di di dam known to him
ever since I was made in secret
in the pink (neck) of my enemies

this is the day I’ve prayed for this unfamiliar 
softly sucking green to the red in the fields
softly stitched to my inner plates
and when they hear me —

            lay your life on a deck or lay tile

            or lay deck tile then dance
            dance the deck!

like divers’ weights I balance a palmful of ashes over my chest
my sins a scrim before me Asmahan (Oum Kulthoum)
Fareed singing "smoke/ you should be smoked"
searching the animal the ransom
not a novice lest lifted it falls
with a candle the animal

one luminary excuse
crossing borders
the ransom
                        one luminary crossing


So as not to boil over

the front end of a virus wheels me in
like a pair of hue enabled jaws
this town is fractured
thinking feel the proc
joints asinine

never lesser so as to there
under the covers
traces of a night I wore green
manicured toes

so I hit hit a wooden machine
hit close the chance to heart
mouth closed till I find some
fabric frantic pink
column bowing

frantic as I did not need the machine
did not have to hit hit
my joints discounted keys
patterned after the electric
pumping so

I dump all columns and rows pumping
bowing to the plate passing me by
above green on yellow four
scratched corners up

            this is how the green of the town sets

a first grader gives me her lunch pail in which her mother has so carefully prepared a sandwich with the edges of bread cut off so it feels soft and pure like a piece of love I take to the classroom and swallow while the children are still playing in the yard well yeah this was hers but it was after lunch so a left-over and I do eat left-overs I also eat what I find like what I found the other day by the door of the sixth grade classroom at another school I subbed at sure it was on the ground but wrapped still so was mostly ok I grabbed it after looking both ways down the hallway so no one would see me then inside the classroom I swiftly lapped it all up (another time I ate something like ten pieces of candy from a huge bag of candies this one teacher had in his classroom now that was not left-over it was for the kids surely but the bag so full no one would notice I thought) I have been invisible that way many times after the fact —


There’s no such thing as seamstress

There’s no such thing as seamstress

fearing grain will not (to) cereal
plucked chicken landscape imposes

if you dressed better you’d be approached by quality people
if you only dressed better

why does everyone leave a stain behind?

blue milestones need potting
to speak is sand gathering

everyone needs a stain for later

sister will soon stop mother
watching wedding pictures
reading the captions

there’s a burn behind every stain
there’s a verb behind the killer palm

she sniffs podiums
her lotioned waist flattened
flower is substitution

Amy at the top of the hill
irresponsible in the ear

I too burn photos except for the eyes

hangman follows hangman
how does one approach a turtle?

there is a verb in front of every child’s dream

angel of death is silence
is a girl just born

can you be site-specific?

drinking hot water may cause cancer
fertility dances taper the throat

technology is milk

werde zu Hause davon zu berichten wissen is all my fault
is my fault

do murderers look like murderers?

plucked chicken landscape imposes
Amy’s hair causes the attic

you get it right away as seamstress
you get it right away

short overweight older female
California waiting

hanging is needed somehow

who is that couple planted to the right 
who is the kid gloved master?

they can judge that

if you leave the premises you’re out
yoga tai-chi business mother background

the cicadas — how does one hear them?

mountain laurel — mock orange — dogwood
after the rain the trees dripping

to aim is a rumor

cicadas on the highway in liquid carbonic trucks
in retrospect

why does everyone leave a stain behind?
ask any thus person

she trekked shadows then twirled her baton

let’s break fruit
but I don’t want to derive
until the water futures itself

stay on sweetie don’t blink
the piano sips the opaque
sing me a member song

hug the trees for three days and that’s it


Use the river

you know how sake provides?
forget about it
use the river to think beyond
memory meanwhile will arrogate
some faceted six feet under

life soaked in time after death
still calls you laboratory animal
tell someone you were instead
chances bitten into
voiled lashes for sake
sinew behind

you know how to define lack
without silence telling more?
forget about it
prepare sake for Adam
chopped tree hatches bark
memory follows
what’s never been new

as you know how to count yourself in
three simple leads widen
the shield remains
scruple they say
when how why
stop the proc of sake without
mara is of Adam
Darva avrad

one mendicant town arrogated to
I feed your sake
dire space peeled
sake hype
attempting to escape you
know how that disperses rank
the stipple hopes for?
forget about it

lap lap the river bend brew
list your teeth as meanwhile
truth is missing itself
lapping for rank
I hear you


Arpine Konyalian Grenier is a poet turned scientist and musician. She holds graduate degrees from the American University of Beirut and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, New York. Her poetry and translations (French and Chinese) have appeared in How2, Columbia Poetry Review, Sulfur, The Iowa Review, Phoebe, Fence, Verse, Big Bridge and elsewhere, including several anthologies. She has repeatedly been chosen finalist for the National Poetry Series and the Greg Grummer Award, and has authored three volumes of poetry.