poem index

Oct. 16, 2009 Tischman Auditorium, New York CityFrom the Academy Audio Archive

In Flight

Jennifer K. Sweeney
The Himalayan legend says
there are beautiful white birds
that live completely in flight.
They are born in the air,

must learn to fly before falling
and die also in their flying.
Maybe you have been born
into such a life

with the bottom dropping out.
Maybe gravity is claiming you
and you feel
ghost-scripted.

For the one who lives inside the fall,
the sky beneath the sky of all.

Copyright © 2009 by Jennifer K. Sweeney. Reprinted from How to Live on Bread and Music, with the permission of Perugia Press, www.perugiapress.com, Florence, Massachusetts.

Jennifer K. Sweeney

Jennifer K. Sweeney

by this poet

poem
This is a capsized game
and there is no display of aces at the end.
Buy a rare and expensive plant that never blooms.
Rearrange your books by the color of the spines.
Bury all your keys that don’t unlock anything.
These are not rules but merely suggestions
of what has worked for others.
For instance, the man who
poem

The snow leopard mother runs straight
down the mountain.
Elk cliff. Blizzard.
Hammers keening
into the night.
Her silence and wild
falling is a compass
of hunger and memory. Breath
prints on the carried-away body.
This is how it goes so far away
from our ripening

poem
On average, odd years have been the best for me.

I’m at a point where everyone I meet looks like a version
of someone I already know.

Without fail, fall makes me nostalgic for things I’ve never experienced.

The sky is molting. I don’t know
if this is global warming or if the atmosphere is reconfiguring
itself