Cheryl Clark Vermeulen: three poems

This week, THERMOS is pleased to present new work from Cheryl Clark Vermeulen.

 “I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.”
 -Lily Tomlin

I must now stop liking things and go to bed.
I like Sanford and Son and Minnie Pearl.
I like another childhood show
and Lucille Ball and Carole Burnett.
I liked Lily Tomlin a few weeks ago.
I like hardware stores and bookstores
that seem to be disappearing.
I like them so that they don’t disappear.
I like the cause for Eman al-Obeidy being heard
who barged into a Tripoli hotel with
international reporters to say she’d been raped
by Gadhafi’s forces. I haven’t yet liked
mirror neurons but I will. I don’t like suburbs
but see some likes as related to them.
I feel like I’m building something.
I feel that these mirrors are virtual. I like feeling
but feeling this breadth of emotions in one minute
is explosive and annihilating. To look up and see
who is organizing us. To look up what to like,
to look up and see my hand and my arm, my shoulder.
To look and give myself a ticket for loitering.
To be wading through the thought
of our schools becoming condos or the protest
I didn’t go to or the rally I didn’t attend.
I swear I was listening.

Mirror Neurons

I thought you were quiet. Said,
“You are so quiet.”
“I am?” you asked.

It may be that my silence has been tied
to your silence, yet I am talking.
So I think that you are silent.

Alpha & the Mainland

I don’t want to eat your hand.
Perhaps my dog does. Perhaps
I protect her or myself with this
stance before the harsh
storm barking. I’m barrier island.
Circling she must come
through me.

Cheryl Clark Vermeulen, author of the poetry chapbook Dead-Eye Spring (Cy Gist Press), received her B.A. in Spanish from Knox College, and an M.F.A in English (Poetry) from Iowa Writers’ Workshop. After living outside of Chicago, she moved to Boston in 1998, where she currently resides. Her poems can be found in Third Coast, EOAGH, Inertia Magazine, Dispatx, Propeller Quarterly, DIAGRAM, and her translations in Xchanges and the anthology Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico. She once had a tortoise named Gertrude.


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