Jayne Marek’s poems and art photos appear in Northwest Review, Salamander, One, Calyx, Spillway, Bloodroot, Third Wednesday, Eclectica, Typehouse, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Cortland Review, Notre Dame Review, and other journals. She won the Bill Holm Witness poetry contest and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prizes.
As if painting with fists and knees like Goya on the floor
of his studio in the night, in fantastic wavering of lit oil,
the voice of a cantina singer is flaming sand,
mouthfuls of liquor, bat wings spinning,
sound pours into Lorca’s ear, the woman’s musical
intoxication, and the poet himself is fog in the cleft
of a lightning-shattered tree dreaming
that his hands scatter green ink across paper,
the stained oak table—
and the fierce woman whose hair falls forward
to her knees strikes the floor with black shoes:
An Argument to Walk Out On
A cup that cracked
after moderate use
shows the tracery
of its dying line,
from what steeped
for too long
as attention strayed.
How much more
can it take, another boiling
shock poured into
its body, the waiting, the neglectful
clash into a hard sink?
to be tossed away.
It’s this cup’s turn
to be trash
now, before it shatters.
Everyone here, it seems, has dogs, walks dogs, talks
to dogs, their own and others’, and of course I do.
Puppies fat-pawed and broad-headed with such ears,
grown hounds and shepherds and terriers, royalty
of the neighborhood (so they say). And then the old,
the slow walkers pacing their gray-haired humans,
since most people are elderly here, taking
their time across cracks in the asphalt, pausing
to listen to the chickadees that scold—out of reach,
birds too short-lived to realize we all wind down.
Old dogs know, have watched humans and other dogs
wither, felt whatever is coming take its toehold.
The breeze with its million messages carries a whiff
of coyote carcass that the dogs have known about
for months, as it sinks into earth-scents
under blackberry vines. The greyhounds I used to see
were slowest of all, one gently lobbing itself along
on three legs, the second in a sling between two wheels
round as barrel ends, and the man who stooped beside
murmured to them at every step in the quiet voice of a god.
A dead dog, dumped in the woods,
presses into late-spring violets,
its hide caved between hips and ribs,
shoulder-bones like blackberry canes.
So my husband tells me.
I stand on a path out of sight
of the carcass, looking up
into kindly green light,
a mausoleum of cedars,
I could step over to look
at the dog’s face, sunken and mudded,
its eyes unable to respond
whether or not they’re open.
My husband doesn’t say.
He knows I’d want to stroke the stiff fur,
strung as I am always
on my own wires. The poor flattened dead
unmoving, my hand open
where no whistle hangs in the air.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
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