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Karen Leona Anderson
Poems


RHUBARB

ASPARAGUS

PIZZA NIGHT

 

 

About the Poet

Karen Leona Anderson is the author of Punish honey. She received an M.F.A from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, an M.A. from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University, where she wrote a dissertation on poetry and science.

Her work has appeared in ecopoeticsNew American Writing, FenceVolt, and The Best American Poetry 2012. She is an assistant professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

www.smcm.edu//english
klanderson@smcm.edu

 


Spring 2013 Poems »
RHUBARB

Unreciped, unlooked up
and sudden, in our yard, pieplant
as supper, leather-leaved stalk
with sugar dipped up to taste
from the old starred jar as if
no parent were there, as if
we weren’t, having
never planted the plant but
found it out back and odd
at the cut, thready-tipped
with dirt, but it’s done, at the point,
hot source, the sauce,
which should have been red
but is not, on toast, the deep
dry stalk surrendered
to heat and the sweet
made pulp, and we, deep
pink.

 

~

ASPARAGUS

Minnows of the air, swallows
and later the bats, untatting
the garden’s lace of gnats
and mosquitoes and at its edges
the fungi, smoke and ink
to our fingers, fringe-gilled,
raw capped, ragged and still
in veil, for the advanced gardeners,
the havershammed, unlike
ourselves, broken into
spores, the poison,
delicious inside and then blooming,
how I love, how I hate this place
we made and thus the garden’s sharp edges,
with something bright and as leafless,
straight and scaled as the fungus
but not so dangerous—so soft—

 

~

PIZZA NIGHT

Kale, local: wilting in on itself.
Organic egg: a frittata except
you have only a corruption
of conventional cheese. Something dark
that was asparagus once; some
oil you built with pesticidal
spices. Olives full of black
holes. If you had made the right choices,
you’d hardly need to mix matter
with what doesn’t matter.
Yogurt, plain, but from a big
box. You wouldn’t use
a faulty cog in your rocket,
so why this scattering of rotten
parts? Strawberries, unseasonable
and furred with silvery fungal
filings, a really bad mistake.
Corn cut from the same metallic cloth.
The cheese magnet-blue with mold,
gravitational. Or would you. Did you,
unschooled and awake, imagine
all the chemicals you are already feeling;
blame antimatter for how much quicker
it pulls in. There are the mushrooms themselves,
gleaming white in the dark, collapsing
and slick in the bright air. All at once
you are: needing to feel full
of the worst thing you can
without meaning anything: a dark,
a star.


 

Karen Leona Anderson ~

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