you are in the diode archives winter 2010




A five-week-old cat smelling of fresh bread. He blunders
to give me his paw tender as earthworm. Are these walls

peach? Air definitely flirts and fucks with us. This
small cat’s brother died before they could get him home.

And so I feel more positive about the package recycling
crushed down in the bin, one plastic film per window.

This pays for a drive over the causeway’s simmering tin
because a memo’s been sent against the egret’s regret.

Like, jam the wire works into couplets so no one will notice
how lonely the hundred brands of soap, the numerous stripes.

You tilt back paralyzed, walk out towards night feeling clean
and empty-handed, replacing the thing needed with nothing.


Something Beautiful

The word “like”: a latch that comes back again and again to splice two things together never meant to be compared. Grass, hair. Light, water. And in life, she pointed out to me, do not compare contrast. The dead metaphors blanketed with snow, eventually a robin would single out a moment by dainty lunges forward. Hopping. Or hoping. One letter changes and you get a mystical transformation. All that thinking, like taking a shower: somehow you lived through another red velvet dreary five-thirty Mass, blood heated by a walk down the aisle. When a short man seems not to want to talk to you, you want to wander into a circle of really drunk women dancing to ear-splitting music, holding their heads so their blunt cuts curl around their wrists. A new move, not yoking two un-alike things, but rather following one into a group of like-built, equally drunk motions.


Poem Written Standing Up

Death of all handmade objects. Vessels and their collaborators, the armchair. Or you could take a picture of a tractor, a picture of a picture of your father who drives a tractor while chased by your brothers through neutral fields. The death of canola stalks. Those tractor gears had been laid and fitted together, one brain connected to the hand that wrenched them together. A foot that has a burr sticking out of the heel, the pain avoided by wearing clogs; there’s a point at which you forget and buy flat canvas shoes at a bargain price. The news is made too, by hands first then other parts. The news hangs negligibly important compared to the center of the table, the depth of topsoil, the rocks below.  


Cynthia Arrieu-King is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Stockton College. Her book People are Tiny in Paintings of China is forthcoming from Octopus Books in 2010. New poems are also forthcoming in Boston Review, Harp and Altar,and Forklift, Ohio.