Jennifer Chang, “Pastoral”

Something in the field is
working away. Root-noise.
Twig-noise. Plant
of weak chlorophyll, no
name for it. Something
in the field has mastered
distance by living too close
to fences. Yellow fruit, has it
pit or seeds? Stalk of wither. Grass-
noise fighting weed-noise. Dirt
and chant. Something in the
field. Coreopsis. I did not mean
to say that. Yellow petal, has it
wither-gift? Has it gorgeous
rash? Leaf-loss and worried
sprout, its bursting art. Some-
thing in the. Field fallowed and
cicada. I did not mean to
say. Has it roar and bloom?
Has it road and follow? A thistle
prick, fraught burrs, such
easy attachment. Stem-
and stamen-noise. Can I lime-
flower? Can I chamomile?
Something in the field cannot.

Anne Carson, from “The Glass Essay”

I

I can hear little clicks inside my dream.
Night drips its silver tap
down the back.
At 4 A.M. I wake. Thinking

of the man who
left in September.
His name was Law.

My face in the bathroom mirror
has white streaks down it.
I rinse the face and return to bed.
Tomorrow I am going to visit my mother.

SHE

She lives on a moor in the north.
She lives alone.
Spring opens like a blade there.
I travel all day on trains and bring a lot of books—

some for my mother, some for me
including The Collected Works Of Emily Brontë.
This is my favourite author.

Also my main fear, which I mean to confront.
Whenever I visit my mother
I feel I am turning into Emily Brontë,

my lonely life around me like a moor,
my ungainly body stumping over the mud flats with a look of transformation
that dies when I come in the kitchen door.
What meat is it, Emily, we need?

Bertolt Brecht, “Hollywood Elegies”

1

Under the long green hair of pepper trees,
The writers and composers work the street.
Bach’s new score is crumpled in his pocket,
Dante sways his ass-cheeks to the beat.

2

The city is named for the angels,
And its angels are easy to find.
They give off a lubricant odor,
Their eyes are mascara-lined;
At night you can see them inserting
Gold-plated diaphragms;
For breakfast they gather at poolside
Where screenwriters feed and swim.

3

Every day, I go to earn my bread
In the exchange where lies are marketed,
Hoping my own lies will attract a bid.

4

It’s Hell, it’s Heaven: the amount you earn
Determines if you play the harp or burn.

5

Gold in their mountains,
Oil on their coast;
Dreaming in celluloid
Profits them most.