GAIL ENTREKIN : Things You Never Thought You Could Do
KAREN MANDELL : Like Stepping Out of Your Clothing
ANDRENA ZAWINSKI : Under the Influence
POETRYREPAIRS v13.08:089
contemporary international poetry - for your reading pleasure,
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Gustav Klimt
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Things You Never Thought You Could Do Like Stepping Out of Your Clothing Under the Influence


GAIL ENTREKIN
Things You Never Thought You Could Do
Say you went to the refrigerator in your socks and found, beside the yellow bowl of lime Jello and bananas, two small vials of insulin: Humalog for the fever of sandwiches and cake and Ultralente for the long nights. Say you went to wake your daughter, the one with dreamy doe eyes, who drifts into and out of days on an aimless excursion taken up by the beauty of every leaf and who has yet to fasten her silver spirit to a forward-moving engine. Say you found her on the bathroom floor half naked, wedged between the tub and toilet her long arms twitching small animal noises bubbling from her mouth. Would you weep? Would you step back in shock and look away? Wait for someone who knew what to do to appear, an EMT, a specialist, your mother? No, you would not. You would step forward and pull her up into your arms. You would send one of the children for her blue denim bag from the kitchen counter, rub the tube of glucose gel into her gums. In a loud, firm voice you would tell her Swallow. Swallow. And you would not relent. If she lay heavily against your breast, her teeth locked against your fingers, you would lay her easily on the white bath mat and turn to the cloth bag for the long red case the emergency syringe you have studied but never used. Standing at the mirror, you would fill the syringe with Glucagon, your freckled hands shaking hard out over the sink. You would turn back to her long flank, brown with summer swimming, kneel down and slide the needle quick before you could think into the muscle, ease the plunger down. Then you would sit down on the floor, pull her into your lap, and wait. Waiting, would you croon her name, rock her, sing her baby songs, caress the lank hair back from her empty face? And later, after her lost-looking eyes, the mysteries of the words chew, cracker, table, the nausea, vomiting, the stepping into the shower beside her to help her remember how to wash her hair, would you sit in the front seat of your best friend's car clutch your bottled water and sob? Say after slipping into her room every night to stick her fingers, check her blood sugar, you lay awake for hours refiguring her carb-to-insulin ratios. In the mornings, watching her laugh, would you recalculate the value of every hour? From GAIL ENTREKIN's book, Change (will do you no good) (Poetic Matrix Press, 2005). 'Things You Never Thought You Could Do' appeared in Red Wheelbarrow, 2005
POETRYREPAIRS 13.08:089
I have many things to write unto you but I will not write with pen and ink
--JOHN the theologian

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Seated Nude, c.1914-16
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Gustav Klimt
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Things You Never Thought You Could Do Like Stepping Out of Your Clothing Under the Influence


KAREN MANDELL
Like Stepping Out of Your Clothing
You stopped childhood like Rose turned off the fire under her pots: flame extinguished with a click. You walked away like abandoning sleep, its mists and tendrils clinging to your arms, your bare legs. Having made your decision you brushed yourself off, sat down at your desk. Your work: word problems, fill in the blanks, multiple choices whittled down to oneľ best student in junior high. Ontology, oncology, words whistled past your ears like meteors, leaving no mark. Words grew to phrases ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. You gathered a wisp of meaning: as embryo you traveled through stages, fish, lizard, swimming in Rose's warm bath, emerging hairless yet mammalian, your blood as warm as hers. Outside, your friends' voices carried on sound waves; shrieks, laughter, shouts melded into high pitched wordless calls, familiar as bird songs or spring rain pelting the roof. You remember laying your head on your desk, willing yourself not to respond. Martin brought you offerings, Good Humor bars: He wasn't sure what to make of you. No one urged you to stay inside. Silly child, you thought you had things worked out. Leave childhood behind like an outgrown dress. Standing at the gates of the temple, denied entry, you never quite became an adult. You hadn't finished the child's curriculum, earning incompletes in cartwheels, card games, camping. Stumped by the c words, among others. Even now, especially now, when children play outside at dusk, you stand at the window of your study. In the tangled water of dreams, you breathe through gill slits, you weave clawed legs through strands of cress and with your tail you stir up the depths.
POETRYREPAIRS 13.08: 089
Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato

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Things You Never Thought You Could Do Like Stepping Out of Your Clothing Under the Influence


ANDRENA ZAWINSKI
Under the Influence
- A Poetic after the Cellist on Place des Vosges
Here. Take this photograph. It is Paris. There. There is a woman turning sheets of paged music. Look. She's getting ready, her legs hugging the cello bottom, fingers poised at the polished sleek of the neck. Listen. A wheeze and wail of gendarmes are racing the square for some spy movie chase scene you'll see. Go away now - through that door behind her. It is the house of Hugo. Touch the desk there autographed for charity, Picasso and Stein side-by-side. Come back now. Come here. She's about to pull in dusk air on strings. Take a seat at the curb stone. Rummage through your bag - through De Gaulle stamps, artificial tears, baume pour les levres - get a tip. Make notes on the post-it pad: Give her a name. Call her Renee or Vivien. Take her photograph. Wander into the droopy-eyed flash. Wonder if she composes - under the influence of red wine, French rain, shadow light - some herstoriography of the real. But don't insult her with the loose change of your vacation franc. Give her what she wants, an audience. There is no subscription fee. The series runs each night. Performances will not be sold out. Take this photograph. It is modern art, under the influence of a dialectic whose boundaries are yet to be determined
POETRYREPAIRS 13.08: 089
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GAIL ENTREKIN : Things You Never Thought You Could Do
KAREN MANDELL : Like Stepping Out of Your Clothing
ANDRENA ZAWINSKI : Under the Influence

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