Four Poems by Elizabeth Marlow

Political Science

Beakers and burners and
she was a squirrel in a
past life, she is rumored
to have thought…
I mean, my God!
She only married Abraham
because she had a feeling
he might become our
future president. She
then spent a year and a
half splitting atoms and
hairs, carefully or thoroughly
dreaming up their house
divided. The once debutante
and the prairie poet
appear under the politically
maddening microscope and
lose their lives and minds,
tonight at ten on your
local PBS station, with
thanks to viewers like you.

 

…Were Punctuated By…

My
love like a
telegram
                       Stop.
My
love like a
telegram
                       Stop.
My
love like a
telegram
                       Stop.
My
love like a
telegram
                       intimacy punctuated by
                       seriousness, joblessness,
                       sleeplessness, people in
                       relationships talking
                       tirelessly on relationships
                                                                            Stop.

 

St. E pt I

The green tiles
The peach tiles
The window seats
The seventh floor
Of the hospital where my Grandmother died.
Stacks of generic coloring sheets
Next to bins of crayons
Atop the ancient, tuneless piano
Provided to keep us from killing ourselves.
When they finally gave me back my clothes,
I wore the same t-shirt for six days straight.

April 21, 2010

 

The Steamboat Captain

Mark Twain had a word in
His blood, and a letter in his
Moustache.


So set up the lather brush and blade
To let the letters collect in the sink
A E I O U
Before they tumble down the drain forever
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Modern Plumbing”


So bring out the leeches to suck
The words out of his veins
The And Livie Fortune Steam
Pale from the withdrawal of words
“Bloodletting on the Mississippi”


Mark Twain had a word
And it cut him down in his end
Dead brother and son
Dead daughter and ruin
“A Connecticut Yankee in Rough Waters”

 

 

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