poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Third Avenue

The bus is stuck in traffic like a butt plug up Third Avenue.
“She’s obsessed with her apartment,” the woman behind me complains.
I read off the names of shops as we creep by:
Good for Life

Organic Avenue
Banana Republic
Mister Wright
Gold’n Gifts

I am leaving the city for the place that taught me
what a dead moose smells like in the night,
the place where some spider webs are so thick
I’ve seen birds get caught in them.

Passing the building where my father used to live
catches me. I wasn’t expecting the shock of it. Wasn’t prepared.
I am leaving New York City
facing backwards on the bus so I can say goodbye.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


It’s James Dean I see
in my mind today
when I think of you.
I don’t know why.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

With Each Year We Are More Closely Stitched Together

(Which binds tighter, the stich you see or the stich you don’t see?
The love goes up and down.)

I have been five years abided by,
five years yours.

Ten years since you saw me naked,
coming up out of the Long River Flanked by Pines.

I was trespassing on reality.
I was a mirage.

I saw you first with eyes clouded by hallucinations,
I spoke to the ducks then, and they had no idea.

All thirty of my years are yours, as everything you have
you offer with both hands, and I pull you in, close.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Google Me

You write a different poem
when you are not sitting at the bar.

You know by the way he looks at you.
The police walk by checking their phones.

I am looking at their bodies.
The waitress forgot my order.

Someone walks by who looks like my first best friend.
Sometimes the people who pass stare back

but they don’t see me. They see my mother
or my credit card or their first best friend.

When I perform, people come just to stare into my eyes.
“I would never Google you,” my mother said.

“I would never do such a thing,”
said my credit card.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Farmer's Market

Last night in Jackson Heights, Ecuador
was in season and I sat by the door
and let the wind blow Spanish
at me and I felt like Rilke
was touching my hair and I imagined
an Ecuadorian Jesus winning the World Cup.

This morning on Park Avenue
I have the Santa Barbara feeling.
“He had a stigma on his face,” says the man
at the table next to mine. I have been that man.
I mean, I have been to the farmer’s market
for a shot of wheatgrass and now I need black coffee
to quiet that farmer’s-market feeling.

Now I am hungry for stigma
and soccer and no matter
who wins the game tonight, Queens will light up
and I’ll stand on the balcony and cheer
and when the loud car draws up under me
screaming for me to flip up my shirt and show
my breasts to the kings of the country of soccer

I’ll throw handfuls of dried lavender instead.
I got some at the farmer’s market on Union Square this morning:
 a sachet for my purse so no one can smell
how far I am from my home.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Black Bear

The bear was a shadow.
The bear was so dark because he had absorbed his own shadow.
There was no shadow.
The shadow bear ran.