Poems by J.J. Blickstein


Red butcher at the spleen of the family table,
the heat from their fingertips boils the liquor in
glasses shaped like ovaries. In the father's mind,
a beaker, blown into the form of a hoof, filled
with hydrogen & the abolished memento mori of
disease. He feels an uneasy reveille in a universe
without these building blocks-a dead lake in his
deaf scrotum denies the weather). The impossible
psychology pulls the children back into his loins
piece by piece. The wife, no longer a mother is
made of language, a neologism, a scripture in
the uncut bread at the heart wound of the table.
They ignore the ankle deep water flowing through
the house, southeast to northeast. The fly on the
bread is a man, a cannibal, with the high pitched
banter of a newborn child. The mother shrinks
the room into a framed portrait of leaves scattered
with bees. Her mystery flows from the arch of neck,
not the eyes, & the twitter-song in her sleep where
her beauty is a cut moon. He watches her dream &
there she lulls villages into near-eternal rest.
A family is a small boat in the eye of a bird, fecund
bait to explore the weight, watery muscle, & sadness
inherent in the boxed landscape stretched from cells.
If I were to touch the soft tissue of their eyes the dead
would light nine candles in their numbered parts.
To dream in the flower of cannibals, to birth a summer
in the trap door of stars, to cut the legged bread
with the patient pigment of ants-a family is a shoe.

Out of his mouth falls a season with the tattoo of a swimmer.
He wreaths himself in rare verbs & a skin of floating
where the rocks are bald & screaming.