Home PageArchivesVolume no. 5Issue 2Poetry: Mary Cisper


Mary Cisper

Six-hundredths of an inch last night
    and here one must borrow
             less than the thickness of paper
to write the rain

    whiptail lizard
               white primroses

    . . .

Mist on the seed-coat      startles
                      washes small
       skeptical chambers

    . . .

Guardian of the spring
    the sternum
              (sternere      to spread out)
parenthesis body

              dust garment
rain’s fingers

    . . .

 (The thinnest gestures

     by them


Vase of Red Tulips

Mary Cisper

Because of the inside spin being maytag—
dirty sky, color of labcoat

eroded bank,   bruise of a river
I never looked this way at you

Tulips, don’t deny you’re hungry—

Stiletto grommet       worn like a mouth
make this dress rodeo

No don’t be sylvia
tulips can’t afford to catwalk—

Shoeing for a run past the velvet stamens
never have the coyotes looked so

newspaper blood    sniffing my argument

peeling the wearable from flame—

Burning it themselves    the tulips whisper


Planet Pulled toward Something Moon-Like

Mary Cisper

A 3 am country       can’t find a word it’s misplaced—
    like a windfall forest, nothing but detour

                   and look it up, these neurons
supplicate       as in a mirror shaking down onlookers.

         Still          anything scrutinized is altering
like electrons or games of scale—

               if the sun’s the size of a quarter
then Earth is maybe a tic in the president’s—

       Aw         go inside, the dark told me, everything asking,
even the dark       because it too has a wedding planner

       fretting sprays of stargazers with pale roses smelled
miles off             in the oddest ceremonies.

Dreaming?      Must be a plug-in
         vehicle.   A moon-tide corrective to jammed

effulgence      while luminous comprehension anthems surge
       as in water pulled toward something moon-like—

           but with more adverbs. The word was occlusion
and for clarity I searched the Alchemy & Mysticism pamphlet,

you know          celestial orb singing—
             we do love the small bones of this world


Mary Cisper Author PhotoMary Cisper is a long-time resident of New Mexico recently transplanted to the West Coast where she is pursuing an MFA in poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her work has recently appeared in Lana Turner, Field, Water-Stone Review, and Fourteen Hills, among other places.

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