- Remove the word rabbit from the word hat.
- Turn the pig back into the porcelain.
- Wake the mother tongue asleep on the roof.
- Tell my ills to go. Madame, tell my ills . . .
- Fill the vacancy on the swing.
- Be there when the bread comes out of the oven.
- Scraps happen to have their uses.
- The floor is a problem that must be carefully solved.
your task is to ignite water
your task is to mortify skin
on a bad day your genius is dormant
on a bad day you crawl and crow
say your lineage is ascending
your lineage is a clothesline reeling in
keep a swiss knife in your arsenal
brandish a corkscrew and thin file
your name is a mispronounced tourniquet
your name is an abused acrostic
if the shoe falls, make cobbler
if the skin is flayed, call it kin
in your sorrow-nutshell you wait knotted
in your sorrow forty fetal days
your body is a propeller of hours
your body will release its prisoners
your terror's no longer contagious
your terror's no longer mailed in an envelope
on a good day you have radar for lies
on a good day your swelling larder
say you made your bridge with discarded crutches
say you made your tunnel with the dreams of voles
you are the gold occasion
you are the fat calf of nation
here is the cave the bloom broke in
here is the capable mouth shouting rise
Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Jeanne Marie Beaumont is author of Curious Conduct (BOA Editions, 2004) and Placebo Effects, selected for the National Poetry Series (Norton, 1997). Her next book Burning of the Three Fires is forthcoming from BOA in spring 2010. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies and magazines including Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Good Poems for Hard Times, LIT, The Manhattan Review, The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 2007, World Literature Today, and others. She is the director of the annual Frost Place Advanced Seminar and also teaches at the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd St. Y and in the Stonecoast low-residency MFA program. Since 1983, she has made her home in Manhattan. Website: www.JeanneMarieBeaumont.com