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Contributor Notes




Karen Klein

Karen Klein

Karen Klein

 

 

 

Diagnosis

 

 

                                                      watching the ultrasound

                                                             of my heart

                                                 beat from a long-forgotten sea

 

 

                                             mesmerized by the image on the screen

                                                         life’s metronome

                                                  its rhythm a pink fist’s fingers

 

 

                                       curling     uncurling      a seated dancer’s spine

                                                        vertebra after vertebra

                                                    unrolling        rolling back up

 

 

                                           or a sea anemone       flowerlike carnivore

                                                 whose toxic stinging tentacles

                                                  pulse to catch its fishy prey

 

 

                                                 but not the immune clownfish

                                           which presses itself into the anemone

                                               their bond a protective symbiosis

 

 

                                             pressure from the ultrasound’s probe

                                                   reveals my pulsating valves

                                              but no secrets from my stented heart

 

 

 

 

                                                         Homecoming

 

 

                                                     I came back alone.

                                                     The cleaning ladies

                                                     were there before me--

                                                     chair misplaced, garlic

                                                     on the butcher block

                                                     not on the countertop,

                                                     the unfamiliar

                                                     in the familiar.

 

                                                     But then I looked out.

                                                     Windows on all sides

                                                     opened unto wild

                                                     daisies everywhere,

                                                     a white explosion.

                                                     But at the garden

                                                     they form a border--

                                                     dense, rectangular,

                                                     as if protecting

                                                     the vegetables.

 

                                                    Sleepless that night, I

                                                    went to the window.

                                                    In the ambient light

                                                    a sea of white daisies

                                                    floating in darkness--

                                                    eerie, comforting.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                         

                                                          Connect the Dots

                        

                                                                      I.

 

                                                          The other side

                                                             of silence

                                                         is not emptiness.

 

                                                      When you split wood,

                                                           one side knows

                                                  it belongs to what it has lost.

 

                                                            Scar tissue

                                                            is always

                                                            second best.

 

 

 

                                                                    II.

 

                                                        the ache to rejoin

                                                            its juncture

                                                          an open sore

 

                                                        Without loyalty

                                                              betrayal

                                                  has nothing to eviscerate.

 

                                                  Without the possibility

                                                          of betrayal

                                                  loyalty remains rhetoric.

 

 

 

                                                                     III.

 

                                                          The other side

                                                            of silence

                                                         is not emptiness.

 

                                                         Giacometti said

                                                         “one must try...

                                                to translate one’s sensations.”

 

                                                                   Skin

                                                             has its own

                                                              vocabulary.

 

 

 

 

Bill T. Jones Articulates the Universe

 

 

 

                                              The 3-D glasses

                                              make the video spill

                                      into the small, dark, viewing room.

 

                                    

                                        Space explodes from the screen      

                       Lines fast-moving,

                                                          never staying in one place  

                                          thrust

                                                       stab

                                curve                                          arc

                    spiral

                            into

                                  emptiness that is not empty, but a presence

                    cut, shredded, bisected, dissected, everywhichway sected

 

 

                                            The dancer's body

                                        painted with white shapes

                                     floats

                                               twirls

                                          appears          fades

                             in images small                     then large

                                                        disappears                    

                                                        reappears

                                           

                                             sometimes the whole body

                                           

                                             sometimes just white shapes

                                                   not a body, a muscle

 

 

                                             This is life after death.

                                             The soul twirls in the cosmos,

                                             changes shape, fades,

                                             comes kick-ass back,

                                        plays hide and seek with gravity,

                                        dances among the arcs, the spirals,

                                        leaps the lines and comes to heaven

                                             where parallel lines meet.