The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2016

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FEB 2016 Issue



Post-Ecstasy Mutations


Love is always haggled—Truth is disembodied—
Mahogany dining tables with royal lengths fail
to include—Search defined as tipping Bing cherries

into a blue bowl until sky becomes lost to a crimson
moon’s overflow—Bones become hollow, flutes made
from reeds—Entrancement’s target? The layered auras

of decay—Breasts sculpted on immobilized Virgin Marys—
A green calyx emphasizes the burden of a generously-
watered corolla—Then discover the limited utility of calm

seas—Failure defined as appreciating a delicadeza moon
-light as much as any long-haired maiden—Lapse to the
stance of cliffs meeting water—Or camouflage the body

into a Christmas tree—There, the rice cooker flirting with
its lid—
                                                            Begin drowning in air—









Where the Pages End


For someone still anticipated, she released milk
to orphaned baby birds—It was not a blood teardrop
but the last red pepper hanging from a string

in front of a white wall—Water becomes like love:
miserable and lovely—Memory contains an under
-brush—The inevitability of ashes—Revelation as

a water lily forming instantaneously—Laughter
comprised of stars—It seemed the sun hummed
along—That plasticity of recognition: silk, moonlight,

velvet, crème brulee, honey on fingertip, awkward
blood—Pride more adept than eye in discerning
the invisible—The religions of flocks with tin feathers—

Audacity, at times, must be a private affair—Birthland
defined as an island replete with chastened alleyways—
Sentences like veins—The Introduction as a permanent

state—Romance emanating from the summer-dusted
landscape of Gambia—The relish of pronunciation:
“Burkina Faso”—You were drowning in the Seychelles

—relishing the uncomprehended word: “Seychelles”—
Gardenias crushed for perfume entrusted with
cancelling midnights—Tentative acacia trees waiting

behind sand dunes—You defined as that sense of
approaching a labyrinth—Fate defined as your mouth
become a cave stuffed with another woman’s hair—








Footnotes to Bliss


Oh, the joy of eliding the vocabulary found in margins!
Jessamine wafting over the paddock—You spilling vermouth
on the sky—Losing the language of scars, we shook lanterns

to bestow frankincense and myrrh—Sympathy for Affinity with
tender hours—Hiding behind a curtain, someone’s neighbor
watched and wrote a haiku about a thief tangoing with his

shadow when the moon appeared—My son flung his leather
jacket over a puddle intersecting with my path across Bluemner
Street—Lurked forever in a red telephone booth to look up

at rain and your window—“Ideal Violet” made immortal by petals
blushing during the lemonade days of summer—Dew lingering
on a carnation corsage left on a bench—Popcorn spilt on the floor

of a darkened movie theater: when butter gleamed, the dispensable
became nuggets of gold—Too often, the world should be veiled—
Never forget the starving Arab boy who wove a rug now hanging

above the Spanish Queen’s bed—A boy grinned around a peeking
tongue as he folded silver foil into an eagle—Gratitude defined as
saying things I’ve never said before—Returning with tea leaves

from a tiny stall in Kathmandu—The charm bracelet that required
only one charm—Damp eyes not mine—If you call an island “Isla
Mujeres,” half of the population will be anguished—The pillow still

shielding a stray tooth because someone believed in a fairy tale—
When mortality’s significance is that wars end—To be human is
to be forgiven—A snowfall of daisies whose mottles under moonlight

twinkled like a saddhu’s eyes—Taste of your mouth? Song of licorice—
Releasing breath
                                        to describe milk transformed by your scent—








After the Promiscous Colon


Penetrating rot—The bloat of betterment—
Slickness profuse, then ahems of misfires—
Aura become scant—Sympathy over

the ne’er-do-well’s dejection—The fashioned
buttress of factionalism—There is no cavalry—
Psoriasis enabling disparagement—The janitor

’s behavior determined by ulcer—Sparse iridescence—
The pantomimed proscenium—Powwows without
credibility—The many keys to the same void—

Gravestone outmaneuvering all—









Eileen Tabios

EILEEN R. TABIOS loves books and has released about 40 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Her most recent are THE CONNOISSEUR OF ALLEYS (Marsh Hawk Press, 2016) and INVENTORY: Selected Catalog Poems and New 1996-1915 (Dos Madres Press, 2015).


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2016

All Issues