The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

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APRIL 2020 Issue



Things that go down the drain

go into the sewer

You can’t own anything

a dog, my own face

sitting and waiting

bad feelings at

the same times

lines almost touching

I don’t know you at all.


not nothing

an endless appetite for


not animals

You're supposed to disappear,

so disappear!

interior life

is real life.

Legs and feet

sitting and waiting

Do you, by any chance, have something

that doesn’t belong to you?

a leather suitcase

or the psychotic dream

of control.

I like any story of justifiable paranoia.

And love is a tenderness

for what is not seen

extracting the spirit of the plant,

exhaling flowers.

When you zap your puppy

they change.

Everything they do

is in avoidance of pain

expression & maceration

imagining what

happened—only that.

I think when you love someone

you want them

to be free.

I wonder if twin and twine are etymologically related?

We are where we go

Closeness is just …

it’s the unknown

close up.

The feet of summer

a compulsive lie

You don't know me at all

in the shadow-

s of a tree

You don't know me.

Pear Trees

I feel like no one ever wants them


I cannot read it

I think maybe she is feeding them

The black fish in her hands

look like grenades

or boxing gloves

she isn’t female

but her shirt says mother.

The woman
is stone

and the background
looks fine with it.

Her basket is full
And her hands are full

The tree is full

There’s too much
heavy fruit
to deal with

and it’s so overly yellow

There is a caterpillar
on the ground
and the frog does not look like a frog

it looks like a person

Or the mouse rabbit dog thing
about to get hit

with a pear

I think it’s about the bearing of fruit
and its responsibilities

And the stress of abundance
or the desire for it

The tree is advancing
without them

like disco

The fruit
is so huge
and muscular
or bulbous

It’s not clear the gender of fruit

It’s just fruit

but it’s drawn in a way
where it’s full on

or balls
or asses


Also the basket
seems subtly bloody
it seems to speak

to body parts

What kind of fruit is it?

They are not clearly pears
They could be lemons

or squash
They seem to be

swinging wildly

They are falling off
because they are ripe
or ready to be taken.

There is one woman,
one rabbit dog,
one frog man,
one caterpillar,
one energetic tree

and many pears


their creation.

That’s the color of paper

The situation is floating

you have to deal with the intensity
of this moment


And it does hit you

There’s no where to hide

She lived in a rural place
and used mud
to make her own clay

She had a very disturbing
medical situation
where she was pregnant
and did not give birth
and never really dealt with it
or didn’t know how
or had bad care

I’m not sure

But she retained the fetus
it stayed inside her
so she was sick
from this

Are they moving a boulder with their noses?

I always think that’s the sun

I don’t know
what her life
was like.

Maybe something else happened.

I heard she gave herself an abortion
by drinking lye
but then took on the look
of a pregnant woman afterward

They said the fetus calcified.

I might be remembering
a little wrong

I’m not sure

I don’t know
her story

but its somehow in there
when you look.

The trees seem imagined
by the woman

And she really makes you wonder
is this finished?

Things not filled in

Its very hard to say

The combination of fantasy
and hard reality
is something

I understand

It seems simple
It is


Part of selfhood

is a place.

She is obsessed

with the two trees

The sun seems to have crashed to earth always

like a giant beach ball.

Sometimes people seem invisible
They are


There’s this place that is open
to everybody

Because it is no place.

She is openly, rudely thinking

You are the birds
The walk

Staring continuously

Might be able to get one pear for cheap
since it’s so


and makes people question
what is.

She is wearing the wrong shoes
for that work.

Or maybe
the chunky heels are good
so she can reach more pears.


Leopoldine Core

Leopoldine Core is the author of the poetry collection Veronica Bench and the story collection When Watched.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

All Issues