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About this poet

Jenny Factor is the author of Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press, 2002). She teaches at Antioch University in Los Angeles where she also lives.

Battle of Will & Exhaustion, Mother & Child

Jenny Factor
Two knights surrounded by dinosaurs
are cornered in the kitchen--all threat and bluster.
Action figures always act
even as night tries to soothe them under.

I am the one who laid a nervous hand
on a child's exhausted threat and bluster.
The bunk bed creaks as the story settles,
as night's cool hand tries to soothe us. Under 

a Seussian drone I am thinking, anxious,
about someone with a nervous hand.
Will he sleep? Will he sleep? When will he sleep?
The bunk bed creaks as the shipboard settles.

What is the myth of a woman alone
who's thinking through Seuss? Her thoughts are drones
serving a terrible queen of their own.
Can she sleep? Will she sleep? When will she sleep?

The toilet's crystalline drip and the ghosts
of the walls are a myth. And this woman, alone,
is a captain steering too close to the rocks
where the ocean is serving a terrible queen.

Up on the cliff of a Friday midnight
the toilet's crystalline drip and the ghost-
ly snore of the sleepy one riding his dragons
can steer this sad captain away from her rocks.

"Rock me to sleep," cries the wild girl at twenty
up on the cliff with a young man at midnight.
Far below, waves from the sea of Alaska
snore back and forth filled with moon's breath and dragon.

Up on the cliff of a Friday's midnight,
rock me to sleep with the sound that the fridge makes.
Warmth of a tub, hole of a drain.
Memories sleep in the seas of Alaska.

Action figures always act
upon the cliff of a Friday's midnight.
Warmth of a bird's heart. Chill of a stone.
Two knights surrendered. The dinos snore.

From Unraveling at the Name by Jenny Factor. Copyright © 2002 by Jenny Factor. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

From Unraveling at the Name by Jenny Factor. Copyright © 2002 by Jenny Factor. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

Jenny Factor

Jenny Factor is the author of Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press, 2002). She teaches at Antioch University in Los Angeles where she also lives.

by this poet

poem

How I loved
each bare floor, each
naked wall, the shadows on

newly empty halls.
By day, my head humming
to itself of dreams,