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occasions

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, November 30, 2015.
About this Poem 

“‘The worlds revolve like ancient women / Gathering fuel in ancient lots,’ wrote T. S. Eliot. At times I have the peculiar sense these revolving women, like worlds, are seething in my blood: it’s exhilarating, and unbearable. But then you write a poem and you’re fine.”
Ariana Reines

A Yellow Leaf

It’s shivering
Like a little lady rattling her bell
Calling for tea
Quivering in the old style

There’s a red light in Boston
At the close of day
Like the red light of idiocy
All along the bricks
Of Harvard Yard & a blue
Sky so hard & irradiated
In the way of old cinema
Whose screens
Reflect the pops & black
Rot spattered
As though it were something
Perhaps nice
As if to say please
No extra charge
Please
Visualize now the idea of your blind spot
I will even do it for you
As the physical reel unspools
& unspools & you blink
In a dark
Room narrow with shadows
Narrow shadows like avant-gardes

It was a dream that woke up
The Fall

It really is something
A sick feeling
Like stopping lying
A dangerous feeling
Like giving up trying to live as though you were otherwise

As though my mouth could water along the split
Waistlines of all the apricot colored squashes
As though the real pumpkins, horns
Of plenty at my hearth
& in my wealth, my death
Were visibly grinning
Thru the rosebud lip of womanhood
Behind which all the women
I really am (they claim)
Hide behind my face & do their flips
Behind my teeth
In the red darkness there
In my potions
In my chemicals
In the mouth I never use
In my poisonous mouth

Copyright © 2015 by Ariana Reines. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 30, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Ariana Reines. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 30, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is the author of Mercury (Fence Books, 2011). She has taught at UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and Tufts University, and now works as an astrologer. She lives in Queens, New York.

by this poet

poem

            Je suis belle, ô mortels! comme un rêve de pierre
           (Baudelaire)

These poisoned sensations have to be
Accepted if they’re to be
Overcome. Looking
Up calories on my phone

Not that I’m counting 
Don’t even like numbers
It’s something

2
poem
Only one grass whistles out the tooth of my horse
And the moon drops fast behind the fences
And the wheat lolls back
And waits for death

I could see the sea from where I was
My mesh hat shone blue

The jagged cheek of Gibraltar
Solid, sucked in the mouth and never melting
Where my dog’s warm underleg soothes