by Mark Bibbins, Editor
Went to the cranberry festival.
My panoramic vision stilted
By medication, I still managed
To enjoy the cranberries floating
On the water.
I went from booth to booth,
Bought a candy apple and a scrunchy
For my hair.
Complete within myself, living
From day to day,
I thank the Almighty for second chances.
Now, to be truthful,
The cranberries were in a movie
I saw because I was too late
For the tour.
But even the movie was enough,
On a sunny day in South Jersey,
Where I cut through paths
And openings, so far away that
I can’t hear you, so far away
I can’t hear you.
Poem for Joshua
The engraver beetle waits in its iron cage.
You walk, you sleep, you eat. You do a lot
Of other things, too, as the netherworld
Is propped up on stilts above you. Orange
Daylight vanishes without a trace. It’s more
Than you thought it would be, here, in the
Hooded mesmerization of our sunny mornings.
If there is a well, then go to it. If there is not,
Then I’m sorry for what I did not say. Life
Is a string of kindnesses with some other
Beads attached. Pick one of the big ones,
Hold it, polish it like you would a favorite
Bug. The last thing anyone wants is to make
You responsible for the joy that comes on us
Like a sudden plague of fevers in between
The afternoons of fires and the lightening sky.
Ambling along the gay perimeter,
A sedative makes me want to cry
About tomorrow. It comes time
For us to feel like we are beautiful,
And so we keep walking, pretending
Our direction is clear. The tongues
Of alligators lick us clean, and we
Concede that we are growing —
The parts that hinge in the light.
I am a stem without leaves, and I go,
Picking blueberries, the rhythm
Of all biological pleasures stilled.
How can I thank a horrible dream
When a newspaper can’t even absorb water?
For now I bask in the fictive spray
Of what spurts out of a needle.
Together, we could have gotten
Through this. Together, we will
Not get through this, as the landing strips
Are all upended, the spirits filled with glass.
Noelle Kocot is the author of five books of poetry, including Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems (Wave Books, 2006), Sunny Wednesday (Wave, 2009) and The Bigger World, forthcoming this April from Wave. She is also the author of a discography, Damon’s Room (Wave, 2010). She has won numerous awards for her work, including those from The Academy of American Poets, The American Poetry Review, The Fund for Poetry and The National Endowment for the Arts. Born and raised in Brooklyn, she now lives in New Jersey.