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Jennifer MacKenzie

 

 

Blurbing the Reconquista 

 

1

Oum Kulthoum's voice tearing itself apart
armaments of flesh carnations

The stewardess stepping down the dark
aisle like a fugue repeating

The taste of clay in clawed trenches
a wall of applause forty years old

banned, obscene, immensely profitable
the word water in three languages

 

2 

Burgeoning with sleep I think

whose net is this
cast upon the pearlescence
and is it monitoring my heartbeat

At the center is not being
able to breathe. I couldn't sleep

and so discovered a genre (Welsh)
called "exultation". Night
on the black windows of The Swan

3 tallskinny girls in white short-shorts
(just before Trafalgar Square) make me wish
strongly that I smelled like strawberries

and a scream unskimmable from my chest
like breast buds took a long time
for me to recognize. Then wistful arson

Passing the night-dull statue
of the famous rider, inside me

an incredible privacy

still reigns. Stealth
I thought was ardor

 

3

I imagine I'm the fucking Irish
banging trashcan lids Police
Police! against smutty sidewalks

while actually music lets rue in
to my chest to get crushed there

where a wreath of plucked grass
stems begets stars, my listening
nipples wistful arsonists. Will
I ever own a complete set of towels

Would that every house had fallen
in around my stuffed howl. I imagine
someone's mouth on my breasts 

(first the left) just for something to do
on this aer-o-plane, this lady's elbow
keeps touching my elbow, I don't want to

grow bright again with loneliness, this spotlight
only stark because no one else can see by it
or gnaw on that night he was crying

under the trellis, our backs to the cold
cheap trailer he resented paying rent for

Wet-faced to the straggling ivy hiding
some form of moon. About how dry
and calloused his father's hands and feet are

 

4

scrolled ascending into floor-to-ceiling glass
Airtrain station two flamingo streaks
flank the sootifying skyline, New Jersey

is unreal / I imagine
retelling my favorite sections of The Odyssey

What is prose? When I don't have this feeling
of wanting to destroy anything so strongly

Cargo Area depthless charcoal / I described the body

returned from the hospital still with two
bullet holes and the new gash opened
diagonally shoulder to hip between them

What does bombed-out mean? Like plum trees
a genre of sequence. The figures of buildings
newly scalloped and pocked edges

O Jen we ate shit / O Jenfer
The doors are closing, please hold on

There is a brief sweetness at least
to opposing any overwhelming structure
And this our courted and made-up

constellation. I like the shape of
my name with some letters missing
A new compact sculpted by blows

Nymph as windlass. Like fiera (beast)
leads toward Inferno merged with people

surging forward like wheat deliberately
chanting the names of cities. What is shame?
Long padded bags with little gold wheels

like bells at one end, people are dragging them
across the shiny floor towards running
belted machines. A little plaid to protect

their hidden nested skis. The next flight
to Geneva / O Jen we

 

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