poem index

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

About this poet

Alex Lemon is the author of four poetry collections: The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014), Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008), and Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006). He’s also the author of two memoirs: Feverland: A Memoir in Shards (Milkweed Editions, 2017) and Happy: A Memoir (Scribner, 2009).

He is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant and a Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, as well as fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lemon is the editor-at-large at Saturnalia Books, the poetry editor for descant, and a senior prose editor at Tupelo Quarterly. He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he lives.


Bibliography

Poetry

The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014)
Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010)
Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008)
Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006)

Nonfiction

Feverland: A Memoir in Shards (Milkweed Editions, 2017)
Happy: A Memoir (Scribner, 2009)

Mosquito

You want evidence of the street
fight? A gutter-grate bruise & concrete scabs—
here are nails on the tongue,
a mosaic of glass shards on my lips.

I am midnight banging against house-
fire. A naked woman shaking
with the sweat of need.

An ocean of burning diamonds
beneath my roadkill, my hitchhiker
belly fills sweet. I am neon blind & kiss
too black. Dangle stars—

let me sleep hoarse-throated in the desert
under a blanket sewn from spiders.
Let me be delicate & invisible.

Kick my ribs, tug my hair.
Scream You’re Gonna Miss Me
When I’m Gone. Sing implosion
to this world where nothing is healed.

Slap me, I’ll be any kind of sinner.

Copyright © 2006 Alex Lemon. “Mosquito” originally appeared in Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006). Reprinted with permission of the author.

 

Copyright © 2006 Alex Lemon. “Mosquito” originally appeared in Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006). Reprinted with permission of the author.

 

Alex Lemon

Alex Lemon is the author of four poetry collections: The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014), Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008), and Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006).

by this poet

poem
Each night, the suffer-
Gleamed stars above
Texas crush down & I do

Not know how to say
No thank you, please
To the jawing ghosts

That show up to gnaw
Furrows in my chest.
The wind whispers

Hotly. Nightjars
Polish the darkness
Free of moths.

I refuse to let go
Of my paranoia
Because it assures
poem
MRI

An old man is playing fiddle in my head.
At least that’s what the doctor says,
pointing, as he holds my MRI to the light.

He must be eating the same hotdogs
my nephew microwaves. My nephew sees
Bob the Builder everywhere—smiling

in sauerkraut, sawing in the drifting sky.

poem

       It is very
       Common
              To have

       A cave within us
              To hide

       Away in when it all
       Seems hopeless. To cry

              Tears of mostly blood.

       To feed on the day-
              Dream in