Sunday, December 23, 2007

Jenna Cardinale

An Un-Encouraging Icon

My baby was not born
while I was at war
or when I returned.

There's love. I learned
the women use one
fewer consonants than the men
do. There's also lover.

There's not much I can say
about this layer
cake of knowing.

I'm eighty. I'm eighty,
and I was a roller skater.

Sugar. I still have
all my teeth.

The Hope That Life Would Return

The possibilities of every life
Build a culture of life
A culture that values every life
No human life should be started
Assassins took the life
In the hope of an easier life
For each life saved
The loss of innocent life
The matchless value of every life
The dignity of every life
The richness of life
Succeed in life
The path ahead should lead to a better life
We will improve our quality of life
We are grateful for the good life
A life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment
Our job is to make life better

Schools can teach this fact of life
Children succeed in life
Get involved in the life of a child
Taking on gang life
The knowledge and character they need in life
Change a life forever
The rest of your lifetime
Extend life for many years
People receiving life-saving drugs
Life-extending drugs
Eventually come back to life

Self-appointed rulers control every aspect of every life
The United States is a partner for a better life
Life since 9/11 has never been the same
A special place in our country's life
The shadows of American life
Human life is never bought
Human life is a gift from our creator
The loving god behind all of life.

Text from State of the Union addresses, 2001 – 2007

Jenna Cardinale is the author of Journals, a chapbook from Whole Coconut. Her poems have appeared in number small-press journals, including 6x6, Court Green, and Foursquare. Big Game Books has just published a "tinyside" of her poem, "Four Hands." She lives in New York.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Danica Colic


Brick to dust, ore again
to its hollow veins,
glass to sand       The trees

again, and the birds 
backwards to roost

The thrilled grasshoppers
in pelts of grass

Here are the rivers
thrashing with fish, floodwater
brimming, oh mineral, oh

Buffalo and weather

Thickening weather, the ocean
thick as oil       The sun
cutting, beckoning

come to me

The earth
calling to itself, all
the stars calling 
to each other, again
again       Everything
unbuckles: water, grain

Oh my heart,

all the made
is unmade
and gallops to the center—

the only 
place left; every other place
is erasure, every other place
is particle—

which is home

Isn’t this sex       Isn’t this
the final Glory       Was I ever
a name


Will there be a memory

      of structure       
                            of tree apart       or

one foot in front of 
                                 the other
a flock of birds

dividing             a bird
                                      then a bird’s eye

watching another       a feather

              rolled stem of a feather

and the fan of threads along it       each a

      different length

each an each             how we will miss

the separate branches       and the voices

      among the branches       calling return

return       what

                 will we be when

there is no we                      only

the singular element


will It be without longing
                                without the arched feathers

of the  throat       which seeks


Danica Colic teaches at Hunter College, where she also received her MFA degree. Her poems have recently appeared in, and are forthcoming in Arts & Letters and Pebble Lake Review.