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This issue of JACKET is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
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Lisa Samuels

The Fruits of Conviction

— we slept, ranges accumulating under our heads
as though insomniac votility had met a likeness, orange
and unseemly — I remember vocation is apparent
like a quantity — perfect moon shapes on the wire, shadows
meritous as salt, and then your movement
like the unkind wave that rolls abandonly — the arc
moves slowly through the city, that one
stone single as anapestics, a diatribe of longing
impressed as in “wanting to expire” — the surly clothes
you put on guaranteed, little legions comb the ground —
dark teeth prickling, hirsute in a false despair
the packet lunges and ordains itself —

the words are over there, away from mouths
that speak them — these belong to the table, those walk
across the floor, seemingly picked up by hands —
cumulatively they are — in the mouth, dusty with use
one saturates to take the dirt down or spit it out
onto the fingertips — seventy times a day
looking for the accuracy of blood, one is always
underneath the real, legible apparencies — the glow of her
bright eyes on the piano — barrier of air
that keeps locale a privacy, diminuendo sudden

you are sitting with your feet like lion heads
overtaking, telling the woman in the dream
“there are no people here” — in the climate
riven with perfume, the fruits are marvels
of descriptive engineering — each one designed
to crater in the mouth with sudden fire —

A Suitable Expression

Invincibly self-destructing, what a swell

      partake of one cue, waiting for

salvific orators to find their honey-hats
 and dump them on our heads.

I thought you made a grand carping
   holiday sound, and it was settled:

we would wind up, toys in the window

 and speak each other’s names among the grass.

Even though you thought forsaking

         constant, the rough candy
                                       was a little
   more than you desired,

a wanting scene, lapsarian digging

the ground came up all flouncy,

   unserious, your shirt sleeves torn on bread
   left softly next door to the meal

I ate with conglomerate leanings
as though a gypsy fit the square with a perfect

         fancy, the laces like

soft cream sides melting next to
paper crisp sterns, all tending to

     what lesson you commenced to make or throw.

It wanted a sirenic and medicinal half-glow

if only from the tagging underneath:

 I said half-priced, half-meant, imploring
declension had its mark:

it took me apart from thoroughgoing

   certainty, what will in trying
to rescue fire, will lose

   from its split-open side the rhythm, hidden

wrestled so your mark is fixed
upon your brow

waiting hopelessly for the random clothing

to pronounce silence,
                         silence wanderer,

   she took a vow of absence and remaindered

all her thoughts, she turned them into scoring

rocks and they uphung
                          like glass. It was in fine

   young clusters and made underlings

divine like water, nowhere to find
         the missing throw immodest at the door.

You mocked me with the closet hour before
and still I’m cowed here,
                          any animal
might do a better scene behind

as the smile grows and finds nowhere to go.

New American Writing # 19 and Jacket 13   Contents page
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This issue of Jacket is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
published in the northern spring of each year by Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover
369 Molino Avenue, Mill Valley CA 94941, USA
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and Jacket magazine and New American Writing magazine 2001
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