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   Jacket 33 — July 2007        link Jacket 33 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

Rachel Loden: Three poems

Props to the Twentieth Century

Are you happy to be over, twentieth century?
Yes, you had an apronful of monsters, but

I miss you anyway, I miss my broken century
More than I miss my ex, say,

And I even miss him occasionally
Since we tangoed through the crazy jonesing

Throes of sweetest, darkest you.
Twentieth century! We had such vainglorious

Hopes for you. Smithereens, of course―
But it feels strange taking up

With other, paler centuries, like this nymphet
Who imagines that her exquisite

Laser-guided marketing campaigns
Would be enough to break me down or

Worse, make me forget. I don’t. Can’t. Even
Your pyramids of empty skulls are with me yet

And with that other who remembers you
As endless tea-soaked madeleine or dusty

Matzoh of revenge, last dish of cottage cheese
And ketchup at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dick of the Dead

Sent out the crows to the four corners, did I?
      Cheney’s heart is skipping for me.

Swept sandstorm with the dead ones, did I?
      Rumsfeld’s spectral legions know me.

Prayed on the White House floor with Henry?
      Dr. Rice is kneeling for me.

Stood at the door with one black candle?
      Libby’s lawyers recognize me.

Who sedated Martha Mitchell?
      I’m in the Lincoln bedroom. Kiss me.

Strapped on a lie and buggered heaven?
      Powell’s balls are numbered for me.

Sent out the crows to the lost winds, did I?
      Cheney’s heart is flying toward me.

The Pure of Heart, Those Murderers

Preserve us from
the pure of heart,

those murderers,

balletmasters of

barricades, spoonfed

the spiritual
contortionists whose

precious bodily
fluids are unsafe

even in dreams;
the fiery reverends

testacular guys

by female treyf;

the god-throttled

and the chosen ones;

preserve us from

the pure of heart,
those murderers.

Rachel Loden

Rachel Loden is the author of Hotel Imperium (University of Georgia Press), winner of the Contemporary Poetry Series Competition. Loden has also published four chapbooks, including The Richard Nixon Snow Globe (Wild Honey Press). Her work has appeared recently in New American Writing, The Hat, Zoland Poetry and Best American Poetry 2005, and she has been interviewed in The Iowa Review and Jacket. Awards include a Pushcart Prize, a Fellowship in Poetry from the California Arts Council, and a 2006 grant from the Fund for Poetry. She maintains a website here: