You thought this would be
a dance lesson,
things were easier then.
No marimbas, no clarinets;
only a longing for the fun
Rain came down.
Nothing seems as remote
as the days you didn’t
have to think about it:
always out there,
gushing out. Control
was required to stop ideas
You did your job well,
you killed them like an Easter
Rasputin was on the lookout.
Magdalene had multipurpose hair:
Kumernis had it in stocks
where and when she needed it,
on her beard especially. Anything
to keep the Barbarians away
will do. Chopped noses,
rotten chicken stuffed in corsets.
We were told that the demons
would come out in Maine.
They hate recollections and certainty.
Their favorite verb is to sabotage.
Rasputin helps one to recognize inspiration; but, oh, what could
To retrieve, to plunder, to forge.
To be bored.
To rip kites so they may stay on the ground.
To forget jokes and misunderstand common sense.
To sit for hours without getting up.
To count words and people and only remember their numbers.
To listen closely to what loons could be trying to say.
To permutate dots so that lines are never identical to each other.
To return to known places and act always the same, thus the slight-
est change might become apparent.
To force things to happen.
To pretend there’s meaning when all that comes out is a “My dog
loves me and he’s no showboat.”
To think there’s nothing to say.
To leap from canopy to can openers to can open her.
You’ve begun, now use your props.
ContributorMónica de la Torre
Mónica de la Torre works with and between languages. Her latest book, The Happy End/All Welcome, was published by Ugly Duckling Presse, which also put out her translation of Defense of the Idol by Chilean modernist Omar Cáceres in 2018. Repetition Nineteen, her new book of poems, is forthcoming from Nightboat in 2020.