poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The mountain rises, dances you slow
pulls you over into the green corner then
locks you out so it’s just you and the animals and the morning smell.

The mist makes it all just a flat and tall backdrop.
The mist covers from the river
all of the ways
up the peaks and erases the hills.

For this world they made all the trappings, you know
the museum stuff—
the clay figures, the beads and bowls and bangles
and knives. For this.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Waiting on the fire escape while you call the police to report that your car has been stolen

Three backyards away they turn off the light that shines on their little rectangle of lawn where I used to think they kept a huge stone Buddha statue, but then when I looked in the daylight I saw it was just a funny old grill. If you see it lit from the side at night you might be inspired to meditate. And why not? Surely Buddhists have made it to the south side of Chicago by now. Especially with all that shit going down in Tibet. Our neighbor across the alley, he calls himself Snoop, he slinks out of his apartment into the night, plashing the puddles like a stoned child. A car jinks by. Honks at Snoop. Sup? He calls himself that because he looks like Snoop Dogg, who lives in California, not Chicago. This fake Snoop Dogg helped us move our stuff out of the U-haul when we first got here. I was so happy that someone was being nice to us. It made me feel like we were moving into a friendly neighborhood. But then fake Snoop Dogg asked for money and you gave him ten dollars you had in your pocket and he sneered at us and left. Sometimes when we’re walking down the same street I say hello and he looks at me funny, like he’s trying to place me, and sometimes he says hello back and sometimes nothing. It’s just like the fake Buddha a few rectangles over that I might have prayed too once or twice before I figured out it was just a grill, and this is just a ghetto.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Fort

You pull a clean sheet over our heads and the mattress on the floor
becomes our fortress and our whole world. I want everything.
My mistakes don’t feel like mistakes anymore.

I went to sleep hungry so we went to an apple orchard in my dream.
All of the apples were within reach. The trees had reached
a previous agreement with us. In exactly two weeks we are moving
to Vermont and I will turn twenty-five.

When we get there I want to sleep outside and let the moon shine on us.

I love you so much that I would put a cockroach
in the middle of my forehead and call it my third eye. Sorry
I woke you up in the middle of the night
to come to the bathroom but I needed a witness. I had never seen a cockroach
that big in my life. His name is Chicago. You crush him
with your oldest shoe.