poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Sweet Lambs With Their Velvet Ears

The lilacs come purpling out towards us, three open hands at a time,
pink lilies compete with their sweet smell, heavy how they bend,
suddenly Vermont is dense green and there is room for everything.

We grow in different directions to make room, to allow for all possible
densities. The farmers market grows and the silly lambies
stumble, the sweet lambs with their velvet ears

and the mean little goats jumping from crate to crate
pause to nip my petting hand.
The cow manure smell floats thickly over the highway.

Look—there’s a fox nosing around the cut-down trees.
The last time I saw a fox was a few weeks ago, we were driving
away from Provincetown, where we’d been out on a boat

watching whales in the bay. There was a family of three
humpbacks that stayed with us. We watched them feed,
shooting up out of the water with their mouths open

as terrified fish jumped through the sudden whiteness of it all.
Like the first flowering tree in springtime, we knew
spring was coming, but we were surprised when everything went white.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Hotel Lobby

“As a result, the chorales that are the expression of the divine service turn into medleys whose strains encourage pure triviality, and devotion congeals into erotic desire that roams about without an object.” –Siegfried Kracauer

Ain’t never gonna happen, honeybee,
(sacred silence)
we both know that’s the best part, the golden rule:
Nobody Gets To See God.

Leaving the land
(it’s all little lit windows
and asthmatic breathing incognito
but) I bet you never look out the window

(dyslexic stare
above and below)
when you are flying
(we take off from nowhere

a dubious position)
it’s all about where you look
(lacking relation
suddenly distant and impersonal)

when I was invisible
(I was all wings
when I was invisible)
I didn’t see their faces either.

“They outgrow their names”
“as pure exterior, they escape themselves”
“tensionless people in the hotel lobby”
“helping the conventions take the upper hand.”

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teenage Sunset

1 (at the Café)



2 (The New Sincerity)

The 80’s were false,
the 90’s were sincere.
The 2000’s were fearful,
the Twenty-Teens aren’t sure.

What are we doing now?
I live in the House of Mirth.
What I mean is,
I was making these same mistakes
a hundred years ago.

3 (Two Cormorants Building A Nest on the Breakers)

“Have I become obsessed with words
and turned my face away from the world?”

“No, you’re just making a world
out of words. Like a fort. I want to live there too.”

“It’s confusing
this twig in my mouth
is about to become part of our home. How many words
are equal to one twig?”

“Who are you kidding? This isn’t
going to be ours for long. The sea
will rise and take it. When we are homeless again,
we will have to live inside your philosophy.”

“I call this one
Teenage Sunset.”

4 (Once I Was The Sky)

Last night I dreamt I saw the Northern Lights.
I think I saw them once when I was not dreaming,
maybe I was tripping and imagined them so truthfully while awake.
I believe now I saw them twice: once asleep and once awake,
once land and once sky.

In my dream the lights were reflected in hills
that should have either been green with day or black with night
but they were blue and red and purple and teal—
the colors were stripes, moving back and forth
across the ridge of the land.

I was watching through a window. I couldn’t see the sky
but I knew the sky was making the colors.
In the other room there was an old man sitting in a chair, slowly dying.
He complained a little bit about old age, but was quick to say,
“I’ll take it, I’ll take it.
I prefer this to the alternative.”

I always thought that was the part we loved best about this game:
I sense the ending with every cell in my body.
I came here to teach myself how to be happy,
I came here to show you how I learned.
Last night I dreamt I saw you—the grown man you never were—sitting in a chair,
quick to say, “I love you, I love you.”

I’ve aged out of my extreme grief.
I prefer the dream to the trip.
The lack of control
was the part we loved best about this game.

I don’t need to see the sky.
You are the sky.


Now write a good one.
Write your way out of this.