Two Poems By Carmen Giménez Smith

by Mark Bibbins, Editor


When objects become fraught,
we choose one and wait
to make depth interactive.

I’ll do the assuming.
Guess which one is fracture?
Good, you didn’t close your eyes.

I hate loneliness
when you’re on the other side,
and also when you’re in me.

Art is for the people?
I’ll be the judge of that
with illustrations and charts.

He knows depth, reveres it.
He drew us a picture of
the center of a planet.

In front of death, I laughed some.
Not out of disrespect, but
because I was afraid.

Built like a cage for the heart,
this frigid room was my port,
sinking or not.

Had we been strangers today,
we might haven’t. But we did,
and even the lamp was surprised.

The sun blurs the mountain
which is a message meant for me.
It means throw your fate out.

In a few minutes you’ll see
the place where we were born.
It’s like human but it’s stone.

Your Data Is Political

Your presence rises from scavenging: pages and words and webs
and signs. You’ve become a target but without the old spy store gadgets.
I’d like to know what you know, not just your count. I click on you,
clickonyou, click on you, then you click back, precious darling surface. We add, poke,
text. On my iPhone, you’re called The Outlier. Your profile pic of a yellow vase
is so allusory, so art, or your skirt flips up and you’re viral,
or someone else outs you as the double-crossing wife because it’s Old West,
open season on Facebook. Pages ripple with alacrity, with betrayal and
Outlook keeps the other engine purring and sneaky. Two presences; the real and
the fable vanish before you and to them within barcode, a cornucopia of insight
(a family’s fleecing, caravans of product, blurry pirated video). I’ll play Sarah McLachlan
over your visage, elegiac, or someone will paste your face onto the porno performance
artist baptized with unseemly liquids. I’ll be the cultural anxiety and you can be the Luddite.
We’ll be a perfect pairing of antediluvian (the wine) and digital (the host).

Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of the poetry collections Odalisque in Pieces (University of Arizona, 2009), The City She Was (Center for Literary Publishing, 2011) and Goodbye, Flicker (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012). She also wrote a memoir about motherhood, Bring Down the Little Birds (University of Arizona, 2010). She teaches in the MFA program at New Mexico State University.

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