White Whale Crossing

poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Wild Morning Glory

You can’t see the moon, but it’s there.
Listen, the birds are singing to it now.
They will make music all night

but you must not love them.
When the first sprout pokes up
the birds will be the first to bite

and there is no way to fight them,
but make roots deep and deeper.
Go down twice as far as up, anchor

and maybe there will be enough to begin again,
though every day you bloom, they will break you.
You were born to be food for the crows.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

From the Country to the City

Owls can stop time.
When an owl flies up over a field
mouse eyes light up like stars.

Time stops, the mice freeze
into constellations
of crunch. Owls swoop

into those moments when
nothing is breathing.
After a mouse gets snapped

the field starts to run again
with small animals, with sap
with coal black mud.

I made this coat from field mice,
I wore it to the city
where a homeless man

yelled in my face, You don’t
know what it’s like, and
grabbed my fur sleeve.

I pulled a dead mouse
from my pocket and hissed.
I stopped time.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Another Date Ruined By Kellyanne Conway


He starts by asking if she likes Italian food. She responds by trying to figure out whom they know in common. The soup comes and she proceeds to wedge sugar packets under the legs of the tipsy table. The man is impressed. Now they are bragging about their children. His daughter is marrying a son of the Earl of ----. She’s impressed. Just get that peerage connection out there upfront. Start with the gold, stay for the swag. He just said he thinks Kellyanne Conway is cute. The lady doesn’t like that. Shut old man! Shut up. You were crushing it. Nobody’s getting Italian food tonight. “But in his own mind he’s the greatest president ever.” She’s rolling her eyes. “The press has been against him.” He doesn’t see her reach for her purse. “Everything they say is wrong. It’s scary.” The lady is leaving. Now he’s asking if she likes music. She’s zipping her coat. She’s like yeah, music’s ok.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Women and Children First


Last night the maze of men
with guns stretched too tight

cocked back the orange-clad arm
of their attention and followed the path of bullets

growing from the rotted logs, the path of spent
casings and never you mind, out-of-season,

out-of-range, shoot into the cattails, suck the dry
air through thatched-rooftop spitting mouth.

They use these lips to kiss their mothers, to sing
songs of meaningless mockingbird love, to shout:

Lock her up! Lock her up!
They can’t break this country like a rotten log

can’t forget their cash cows—the gas stuck
in rocks waiting for the frack-crack—can’t

put down the chainsaw. Last night that maze of men
saluted with that orange arm, they drew back,

trespassed and landed in the over-leveraged leaves
and all the meaningless mockingbird market bells rang.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Patriarchy Killed Marissa Cooper

Owl-eyed and cat-clawed yet
the other child actors used to call her Mouse.

She always saw them first
darting diagonal across the floor

she took them with the pounce and catch
she got ‘em by the tail every goddamned time.

Bait fish, they called her, and Bones.
Leggy yearling and dearly beloved,

The It Girl—the cat,
but only until the end of the third season.

There will always be something she can breathe
to feel better, to disguise those depths

where kicked, she wished for a door
or a wick to light herself

her sadness typically eighteen
to twenty-five feet in length, girth-y

and pointing true north
where there are no accidents.