“One's real life is the life one does not lead”
—Oscar Wilde


Dzvinia's books can be ordered from:

Carnegie Mellon University Press
Box 6525
Ithaca, NY 14850


Dzvinia has co-edited The Four Way Reader 2 and is a founding editor at:

Four Way Books

Dazvinia's poetry is also online at: www.slope.org


For more Poetry

Dzvinia Orlowsky Dzvinia Orlowsky

Darwin: From So Simple

endless forms: the sticky feelers, subtaceous glands,
oily hands of boys,

fossil strung to fossil every morning someone wakes up,
looks in the mirror, considers lifts, alterations –

How to escape the thick sediment of dreams,
turned face down until you can't breathe, wake startled.

Finches flutter on a sprawl of twigs
and the day's poet struggles

not to write about the barbed hop before flight,
sunflower seeds flung into the wind –

realizing he or she has no place
in the morning's extraordinary abundance.

Consider good intentions, not modified,
that never spread,

unlike one's weight anchored to a favorite chair–
Oh domestic Homeric dune of salt,

the hour lost, unfilled, that flees the room
with its long lizard-like tail.

Who warns the doomed mouse?
The rattlesnake uses its rattle, the cobra flares its frill,

my mind sits crumpled in its wheel chair,
blowing a party horn.

Inheritances of accidental crossings
destroyed by early frosts,

the last union between male and female
creating children who stretch into teenagers –

What instrument measures blood against blood?
The twelfth rose closed and imperfect?

In the laundromat, the long afternoon spins
in large white flapjacks.

A young boy leans up against his girlfriend
in the heat of their skin.

Letter to Myself

Once, I confused my own hand
with desire,
once I held it there

until it promised love –
it couldn't possibly get better
until I realized

I'd rather cry
or take a long bath
alone in the house.

Doesn't it seem
the more thoroughly we wash
the more we stink,

our bodies refuse
to trade in
their own damaged coats —

that even a moment
can take more
than all we've got.

Now Closer

It amazes me the way a man can fall asleep —
the way his chest rises and falls

automatically, as if on life supports,
arms outstretched, one hand slightly curled

as if holding a bird — his penis, lifeless,
like something named then dropped

along the way. And weren't we both awake
minutes ago, loving your weight

pulling me under, dragging me along
what felt like the Atlantic's rocky floor –

just to surface, by myself, on the other side,
wind grazing my small nipples,

something stuck in the sand
only a dog might lick.