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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

In my favorite version, the man recites the alphabet
over and over, and when asked, he says he is praying.
He admits he lacks the words, but says perhaps if he provides
enough letters, God can piece his purpose back together.

The word is kavanah, translates to concentration or

poem

As if the lucky might ride it to shore
while the others go under.

Some dogs make for higher ground,
spurred by a shake or a sound
in a frequency to which we never tuned.

Dogs’ ears rise now
to the scream of the still-black screen,
the pitch before the picture.

Breaking