Rite (to combat a bad mood)

  1. Remove the word rabbit from the word hat.
  2. Turn the pig back into the porcelain.
  3. Wake the mother tongue asleep on the roof.
  4. Tell my ills to go. Madame, tell my ills . . .
  5. Fill the vacancy on the swing.
  6. Be there when the bread comes out of the oven.
  7. Scraps happen to have their uses.
  8. The floor is a problem that must be carefully solved.

Rite (of passage for one set to shepherd millions to greener grass)

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

Ekleksographia #2

July, 2009


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