A Poem by Henry Israeli

by Mark Bibbins, Editor


The car is a machine
that spins the world beneath it.
The heart is a machine
that sits like a hunched little man.

A child is a machine
to keep balls bouncing.
Balls are machines that keep
gravity from crushing us.

All machines depend
on all the other machines.

The weather machine,
the walk in the park machine,
the sandals on the beach machine,
the smile machine, the scratch
one’s crotch machine, the scotch
on ice machine, the tulips
in bloom machine,

the wood thrush machine,
the wake and sleep machine,
the just because machine,
the starvation machine,
the manic depression machine
that can’t wait for this goddamn
cocktail party to be over machine,
the sun setting machine
in the window machine behind you.

Henry Israeli is the author of three collections of poetry including god’s breath hovering across the waters, forthcoming from Four Way Books, and three books of translations. He is also the founder of Saturnalia Books.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.