poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Incarceration Ode

Close, the breath of that truck
sea smoke of disaster and gravity:
the closest to forever you’re willing to go, but when you get
far enough from the Earth

the salt smoke tastes like change.
We’re going to build a false wall
the stars will still be there
but you won’t be able to see them for three years.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

All Finches Evolved Over Time Really Differently

Walking the roof in the morning
against a hollow day, years of Earth
push up, through waves of sediment—push up—waves hello
what I mean to say is, dance

three-part rhetorical figures, figure out forever, disappear.
The first two attempts never work.
What I mean to say is, all finches
evolved over time really differently.

The noise from his stomach is like a woman
speaking harshly into a cell phone on a train.
No, he says, those are ghosts.
Put them on the boat.

Post-war melancholia is now called PTSD.
It doesn’t mean anything.
Braided rug or magic carpet.
Nothing means anything. Everything now

has a pharmaceutical name. Even babies.
Somebody just got a star.
I was too young. I shouldn’t have seen it when I saw it.
Objects need the air around them.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

If You Know the Answer, Raise Your Hand

Photography and anthropology
were primary ways of institutionalizing racism and colonialism
in relation to the 400 years
of trans-Atlantic slave trade.

So how did photography and anthropology
come to be taken up by women? Didn’t they see
how these practices undergirded the systems

that also oppressed them? There is someone
under the ice. Shit, there’s a hand.

That’s clearly a hand.