catching up July 24 and 25th: 30/30 Project


A mere shudder / by Risa Denenberg

She imagines a long, lean body,
closes her eyes as she gathers up chubby hips
laps at the salt lick of saggy tits,
tries to re-enter the rhythm and rhapsody,
womb over fist.

We make so much of this small discharge
of neurons,
this exclamation mark.

It takes such a rim of cunning
to maintain lust. A flower pot
of love-sick soup simmers
on the back burner.

A Perfect Reader /
by Risa Denenberg

After a dreamy reading, a poet stands
at the podium to take a few questions.

Someone asks: Who is your ideal reader?
Modestly, he replies, one who reads a poem
more than once.

There and then, I vow to be his reader.
I will recite the poem until its words enter me
like a lover who waits for the silky readiness
of the beloved’s lust.

I will read aloud and in silence, I will memorize
line by line. I will read ardently and get lost
time and again. I will swing languidly backwards
to the beginning a million times

to locate not his meaning, nor mine
but ours. Or if there is no meaning, I will
contemplate the depths of its emptiness.

I will not be deterred by difficult style
or language. I will chew the poem
down to its scaffolding and ink it with
red stars to navigate each of its turns.

I will not sleep or eat during the countless hours
of our tête-á-tête. I will not cuckold
my poet for any other.

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4 Responses to catching up July 24 and 25th: 30/30 Project

  1. Mark says:

    Wonderful, lovely, and noted.

  2. Doll says:

    Do I have your permission to “use” this poem with my students this year??

  3. Doll says:

    And re “a mere shudder”: delicious wordplay.

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