Two Poems by Jessica Dessner


The Sacrilegious Axe


The sun lighting votives 
so nature can smack her flower
into first-aid for metaphors
they go, I go 
kill a few mobsters
no age restrictions
milky coffee sprawled on the stoop
as if dawn weren't a fork
bearing in on the urge for aphorisms
I can make myself
assuming I know the business of scintillas 
and beware the death futons
old cigarette with fanny pack
knee pain, back pain
the ride home through the 
experimental moon
bigger in New York 
jerks off attention in other realms
lunch specials still to be named
after the fungible war hero 
cryptic enough to be authoritative
another acronym amping up
claustrophobia in the alphabet
scrolling through art world 
charcoal briquets $5,000
to enter a multi-level hump
red barricades white 
on a peppermint	
what part of the cosmos hums?
the sum coming over me
denudes the blind spots
whom no one raised
can raise 
like the first people that landed
chopped up into
half moon murders
absolutely caffeinated
school going on tv
dying at the same time 
worse than the weird shape
in the middle of the East River
I've never seen a coconut look like that


Work The Marionette


The day takes on the features I know 
   puddles face up so I can apprehend myself 
         an icy fang buried in fruit 
            I fancy the treat first
       or a chase, closest to spirit
a measure of imagination as it prances
	translucent on sunny days, my love 
	be at Hamburg getting husky
	while I, a useless reader of thrillers
	what else buys them but my vision of myself?

Over all the cherry trees
the voices of girls more consoling
        than high balls         may I choose physical
              over imagine?        I like to throw it 
                 now and again         thinking about you
                        in a way others might understand 
	leopard in the afternoon stuck in a vice
                   of ugly branches	  a hand on the cock
		                              apt to get a little preposterous
	it is not time you are after
	    but the liberty to laugh through it
	        for a dream of assimilation
     like a man who can't help where he looks
	one eye for love and the other just till then
                   a kid with a grab-bag


In addition to writing poems, Jessica Dessner is also an artist and dancer/choreographer. The 92Y Tribeca Gallery and Country Club have hosted shows of her drawings. Her recent dance work has included performances and choreography for Sufjan Stevens and Shara Worden. Her poems have appeared in Sal Mimeo, La Petite Zine, The Invisible Stitch, H_NGM_N, Gerry Mulligan, Maggy, Nowhere, and Free Verse. Wit’s End with Bric-a-Brac, a chapbook, was published in 2006 by Green Zone. Check out a new show of drawings opening April 19th at bird in Williamsburg, NY.

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