Sonnet 8 | Curriculum Vitae

Author’s Note: This Sonnet was inspired by the list made by painter Agnes Martin, whose own menial, often oddball jobs provided her with the boredom she needed to be creative.

I have worked:

  1. As a salesperson at a crystals shop in a bird park.
  2. As a waitron just once.
  3. As a volunteer dog-walker.
  4. In a cat hospital, at an animal shelter.
  5. Teaching someone the International Phonetic Alphabet.
  6. As an au pair.
  7. As a freelance writer for a doomsday prepper website.
  8. As a volunteer facilitator for special needs kids.
  9. As an on-and-off writer for a local travel company.
  10. In a witch’s costume, promoting a Disney Channel movie.
  11. As kidtrepreneur, selling shitty microwaved candles to my neighbors.
  12. As a gift wrapper in a children’s toy shop.
  13. As a user experience designer.
  14. As a summer intern at the national museum, putting labels on taxidermied animals.

 

Sonnet 7 | The Avoidance of Flossing

  1. The Age of Universal Authorship
  2. The canon of the self.
  3. The simulation of life.
  4. The concept of dread.
  5. The spirit of ennui.
  6. The terror of possibility.
  7. The wordlessness of memory.
  8. The skinniness of affluence.
  9. The 5th of November.
  10. The gorgeous face-pulling of a cappella groups.
  11. The avoidance of flossing.
  12. The bleeding of gums.
  13. The reliability of box wine.
  14. The tonic of my gin.

raising poems

I do not claim to write poems
I raise them.

Sometimes, I haul poems from rocky places,
pulling them
like stubborn tubers from the dirt
peeling them
until I see the glistening flesh.

If poems are seeded,
I need only water them
and hope they don’t turn out poisonous.

(I have already raised
a sprawling poison garden of poems.
that I lost control of years ago.)

Some poems are bricks that I lay, one by one
until a wall is built
And then I try to climb it.

There are poems that I rip like old paper
from walls I thought were strong
to expose other poems underneath.
Sometimes I want to paint over these.

Other poems I pull at, like feral threads
unraveling my imitations and the lies I tell myself
unraveling the comfort-truths I weave.

Some poems I raise from wells.
Dipping my bucket into depths I cannot measure,
giving and taking and giving,
until it gets at something
It plunges into water that I cannot see,
but I draw it anyway,
Bringing it up to daylight
and hoping
that I can drink what’s there,
that it quenches me.

A poem is the divining rod that directs me
to water
to bewitch it.

A poem is the germ that leavens the bread of my discontent
so that it may swell and become something I can cut open
even eat.

I raise poems.

Each poem that I raise, in turn
raises me.

-jules

Sonnet 6 | Something burning (not the gammon)

I remember, in December 1996,
Christmas lights were killer that year!
They overloaded the circuit,
Blew the fuse with high-wattage cheer.
They don’t make ’em like that anymore.
Nowadays it’s those cool, efficient ones that don’t emit heat.
Perfect holiday fire insurance.

Seriously, hazardous things (as pretty as they were),
Lights shivering as if it were winter
Short-circuiting oven before we got the lamb in,
Something burning (not the gammon).
Why – I ask annually –
did we make the entire household trip,
for the sake of something pretty?

eutah-mizushima-29896

 

 

 

 

 

Sonnet 5 | The events in a single literary day

(Written October 21, 2016)

  1. Lotus-eaters on Instagram.
  2. Ampersands in restaurant names.
  3. Indicators at traffic roundabouts.
  4. The events in a single literary day.
  5. The nostalgia of Christmas beetles.
  6. A touch of Google Translate between friends.
  7. A lock of hair affixed.
  8. Cheap wine & chopsticks
  9. Too much feeling all around.
  10. The scramble to reach higher ground.
  11. A sleeping totem above my head.
  12. Imitators under my bed.
  13. Speaking a far more dangerous dialect.
  14. Say with your mouth what is in your heart.

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