poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Friday, July 24, 2009


The deck chair is still/ but you feel like you’re still rocking
back and forth in the hammock, with its cradle comforts and the sun in your eyes.
The sea is close, maybe too close.

Bicycling down the avenue by the shore, you pass two women.
The first has short arms—child arms and a big forehead-dominated face
and she pushes a baby carriage around the perimeter of the island all day
in very small steps. You pass her quickly/ you wave/ she waves one of her terrible arms.
The next woman you fly past is supported by two crutches.
Watching her struggle with the small hill reminds you that you are flying
on your bicycle/ your aptly named Avocet/ and the woman has all white hair and you say hello and you’re sure you’ve never seen her before in your whole 25-year-long life
and she says Hello, Fancy Seeing YOU Here!

Two trees a big old fir and a new oak.
Two claws on the lobster- the crush and the pinch.
Two women on the avenue today, and you, little bird
trying to understand everything at once/ sure that all the information will loop around itself like the avenue loops around the island you are starting to feel familiar and comfortable with/ when the information connects it can be called something else,
something seaworthy. You are not seaworthy yet.

Rocking back and forth in the hammock
which is also the cradle/ the sea
rocking back and forth by pushing off with one delicate lobster leg
against the freshly painted railing stacked with the treasures you scuttled off the beach:
driftwood, shells, beachglass, a piece of old pottery with a cracked white and blue glaze
you would pluck all the riches from the sea if you stayed here forever
but you belong to the mainland/ you like feeling still when you lie in your bed
or sit on a chair/ you were not made for boats/ you like your treasures deep

in your own dark body where they grow like pearls.
You keep your tumors magnificent,
yes, they are all gorgeous gems.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Breakfast and Bullshit

One coffee please, she says and curls her hand around the heat
like a cat curling up to go to sleep/ but the opposite.
Two nights ago she couldn’t sleep/ she was high on time (time in water)
looking at the calendar like it was a stone table with rows/ that the weeks
of the month were made to flow through/ coffee water through the mouth
bitter time and like a cat

pushing silk on your calves, ankles/ time in fur
snaps it’s tail at you/ time in seconds
sounds like the ocean’s small crashes/ on repeat/ it looks like now
and now and now. What are you listening to?/ I ask. Biggie, she says.
What?/ Biggie./ What?

Biggie Smalls./ The Notorious B. I. G./ Biggie biggie biggie can’t you see?
Sometimes your words just hypnotize me/ she sings
and the whales of the world beach themselves/ believing it is the rapture.
She rehabilitates the whales/ every one of them goes back
everywhere music is coming out blowholes/ so I dance/ on the beach
bitches in the back lookin’ righteous/ in a tight dress/ I think I might jusssss
as the ocean grinds up on the sand/ as the barrister grinds the coffee beans.

Next week she’s going to teach me how to fly
and how to make ugly ice cream/ it is the Age of Ice Cream,
and then we’re giving up poems.
My pants will write the poems for me in the future. My pants and my computer.
My pants will drink the coffee and my computer will weep the weeps.

One coffee please/ here/ she hasn’t been able to sleep or shit in days,
if we could just get back in the ocean, if we could just remember how
to drink coffee underwater and where to plug in our laptops.