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featured poets & artists


lena dunham

home is in new york city, but currently lives in ohio, student at oberlin college, published poems in enchiridion magazine and the 2003 anthology saint ann's at teachers and writers, also make plays and movies. former intern at soft skull press in brooklyn, new york.


My Mother's Movie

My mother is making a movie
on the subject of regret. Don't worry
about telling my father-he already knows
and his heart isn't even broken. This poem is
just the facts-it seems unlikely
but I live in the apartment-equivalent
of a circus-cat's cream-puff. My whole
family is fascinated by foodstuffs
converted into homes.

In the notebooks left lying on the mail-table
the movie was shots of an ash-blonde
nurse stuffing cigarettes in the freezer,
waving goodbye to her dad as he drove
off. Then it changed to a work
in which ballets happen
in fish-tanks, lovers call
to the lonely from inside TVs.
Finally filmed, the thing
contains sympathetic inanimates
and one woman singing
in multiple climates.

Now mom wants to tack
on a scene about staring
into other people's windows,
admiring their dishware and their
husbands, their rolls in baskets.
But she can't just add any old thought
that makes her feel a bit wet
in the eyes-it would certainly
promote a lack of focus. There
was a night when I stood, nightgowned,
on some swooping lawn, staring at the side
of a house-it looked like the shadowy
cross-section of a human head with
top-hat. Shivering from the hip down,
I watched the punk-boy inside
move into the dark archipelago
of his room and lay himself
down to sleep.



I met a girl in a jaunty
bonnet. She skipped along
the sidewalk as if it were a barn
beam. Like a child of Prince Edward Island,
her skirts sailed behind her. Maybe that's why
it was so odd to see her sucking a cigarette
in the jaundiced shadow of a streetlight. Her eyes
hung on her face like two felt hats. From the bathroom
stall beside me she told me her curse- at close range
I realized she was heavily furred, that there
was eggy blood in her fur. She said she could
only ever think about men, write about them,
dream she was on rafts with them. I said “I may
have the same problem. I wish I could write
about groups of foxes skipping or the sunsets
that I see, raccoons with their babies in their
teeth.” But she said “No you don't.
No you don't.”


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