poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Dora Malech is the author of Stet (Princeton University Press, 2018), Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). She is the recipient of a Writer’s Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Center, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, and an Amy Clampitt Residency Award. She lives in Baltimore, where she is an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

ARE NOT NO TEAR

from      form
for to rest upon,      rent of, stop our
notes’      onset.
O sentence      once tense,
skin      inks
indelible, was      libel, sawed in
a shelf      aflesh.
In meat,      I meant,      in meat
begin      being
read,      dear,      a red
season      as one’s
affairs      afar, ifs
in wet blossom      blown, so I stem.
Flower      flew, or
eros      rose,
or trees      reset, or
please      elapse
is lips,        is lips.      I slips
it into night.         In tonight, it
plays      splay,
sore throats’ dins I      shored into stars. I
read      dare
to be a snow-pure      re-up, a bet won so
on aim,      on I am,
throw      worth
its harm,      this arm,
mute song      sung to me,
a moot      am too.

From Stet by Dora Malech. Copyright © 2018 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

From Stet by Dora Malech. Copyright © 2018 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

Dora Malech

Dora Malech

Dora Malech is the author of Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010) and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009).

by this poet

poem

Mind as conflagration,
mind as a canting floor—

not as in
nation’s

raw red
reward—

rather some
other mare’s

lore—plays up a
role. Apply us a

poultice of pulped bills
(cut, I bleed). Poll’s pupil, of

this sea be fealty’s fashion. I
obey, finish a

poem

A long-gone hand behind this scrap of map
dips the brush into red lead again
and lifts the wet tip up to fly across
an ocean and touch down in the unknown
where it emblazons its best guesses, draws
ornate conclusions in the far shore's sand.

Now, as ever, dawn illuminates
the

poem
                  I snap the twig to try to trap
the springing and I relearn the same lesson.
You cannot make a keepsake of this season. 
Your heart's not the source of that sort of sap,
lacks what it takes to fuel, rejects the graft,
though for a moment it's your guilty fist 
that's flowering. You're no good