Dora Malech, Thermos‘s blog poet for mid-October, is the author of two collections of poems: Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009) and Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, forthcoming in 2010). The poems here on Thermos are from Say So. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Best New Poets, American Letters & Commentary, Poetry London, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa; Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters in Wellington, New Zealand; Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa. For more information on Dora Malech, please visit www.doramalech.com. We hope you enjoy her poems!
THEM’S FIGHTING WORDS
You left the party and I checked the deck, found I was missing
my suicide king—full blown and come to blows and left
full well enough alone, rose from the playing dead
to heads or cocktails, full-contact chatterboxing, standing
water and standing bets. Cry uncle, tweaked nipple and whistle
or you lose it, mechanical bullfight running on empty threats.
Now solve for x where mph is speed and oomph is impact
and the tip of the tongue sticks to tip of the iceberg
and now the slow part where the whole plot’s read out loud—
and in the next panel, the big gun says pkow pkow pkow.
BREAK, MAKE OR
Unseemly to dream in green each night sleep
through the entire moon lids on or else an eye
boils over. Rattle the sabers through void
of course and claim a brighter phase. Teetering
on a flimsy peduncle all petal and heavy head
and nothing afield that the mower would stop for.
Aspire to symbolic shovelful forever mourn
the severance of the lesser hissing heads.
Binoculars backwards closest call to distance
as in redwing flipped to a fleck on a lens.