lisa zaran


Because the bollywood was in bloom
and the poorgrass bled beneath the sun
and the feelings of others could be heard
like wind troubling the trees
so topically arranged it hurt.
There must be a naughty child in there somewhere.
Might memory also be arranged….
the past was yesterday;  the future, tomorrow;  never, the
day after.

And the feeling evoked an all season interest
and the feeling evoked a wagon, a horse and a man
and the simplicity of such a sight evoked
a garden
a woman could cry over.

(Italicized line from Thomas Hardy's
 "Far From The Maddening Crowd".)

Everyone Wants to Make a Statement
She knew enough to not make a scene.
She knew enough to artistically decline a second,
third, then fourth drink.  She can’t remember when
the drinks stopped coming.
She knew she came to age a while ago
with wide eyed wonder, a while ago.
Life, to her, was an oak, tethered forever
to its same spot, its same dank earth, god forbid
an uprooting were to occur.  God forbid.
She said a thought moved inside of her.
A thought that mused with attitude, God forbid.
A thought she mistook for a lover she missed.
She can’t remember when her lover stopped coming.
Wild Roses, Cactus Flowers
The sun is just an afterthought
like a thousand monosyllables
falling simultaneously. 
Everywhere, a man kissing a woman.
Everywhere, spring and sun and the persistence
of Saint Gabriel.  I light an American Spirit cigarette.
I smile with the impassible-ness of Jude the Obscure.
How complicated life is.  How simple, yet, how rapid.
How morning springs into evening, with nothing in-between
but sunlight, mini disasters and the cathedral of friendship.
How good morning the morning is.  My heart beats
immediately.  Swells and steadies, like a wild rose.
I curate the day and shake my head, shake my hair loose.
Take a long drag off my short cigarette. 


Lying in our four-poster bed.
You’re the newcomer.
I trace the outlines of leaves
casting shadows on the ceiling.
You snore and the sound resembles
the chaff of asphalt a shoe makes
when its wearer has just exited the pub.
Tomorrow is Saturday.  Another week
gone by.  Every day accompanied
by the faults of the other, these interruptions
in the foundation of lovers.  One day
I will fold at the waist, so prettily.  In the flaw
of space, your grief will manifest.
To keep her balance she counts light poles,
not pedestrians.  Not pigeons or padlocks
on fences or police cars.  Or buses or homeless
men with moth-eaten beards.
To keep her sanity she wears vanilla scented
body spray and long lilac maternity shirts,
although she is too old to get pregnant,
she likes how the material billows in the breeze.
To keep her purpose in tact, her focus, her core
taut, she manipulates the balance between what
happy means and what happy actually is.  She reads
poetry and eats pizza and drinks red wine and actually
is happy when she likes what she feels, when emotion
meets equality, when motion matches indifference.
When she isn’t so goddamn affected by homeless men
with moth-eaten beards holding sad signs and venereal
diseases and especially when her long lilac maternity
shirt billows like God-struck wings raising her above
the pigeons the police cars the padlocks on fences,
the city buses which carry passengers past light poles
too numerous to count.

Goodbye’s Can Be Beautiful
Or not.
Here is my heart, here is my democracy,
and here is my conciliatory sorry.
I’m forever sorry.  I can think
of no other way to feel.
When I die, when I am remembered
no more, when the flowers I loved
no longer bloom
like ravenous angels longing
to be kissed, slowly curtailing,
lounging actually as flowers
tend to do
in bright sunlight and brave weather
yet slowly shriveling into nothing
petals flailing in the breeze
I can’t help but think
of a mothers broom sweeping
to the sound of guidance
each blossom away.
The world we surrender to is not
the world we endure, more over,
is not the world we imagined wearing
in the picture of our mind nor the emergence
we feel every waking minute, nor the riot that runs
circles like children with questions all about our constitutional
Sometimes it takes a brush stroke by a spiritual hand
to remind us that a certain part fits a certain part
and it’s up to us to figure each part out.  To delineate, discern
perhaps, if we want to go all William Carlos Williams,
or in better terms:  to winter it out.
Tomorrow will bring a daylight we wish would be dark.
Every question we have will be a rusted can on the ground.
Every dream will feel different, immortal even.
We will breathe and the sound will be a scuddering sound.
We will cry and nobody will play a drumroll.
We will map our countless endeavors,
start over and mark again.  We will eat our dark bread
and remember.  We will be kind.  We will buy shoes
that match our competitors.  And we will love.
And deep as biology will allow it, we will understand love.

Just as a dandelion that blooms out of spite as much as
out of a desire to grieve in public, such expression
it holds in its moment, so will we.  And a poem
will be created based on this.  And a song will be written
and sung and a voice will rise up like a fist from a throat
and a story will wet the hearts of children everywhere.
Our fathers and forefathers and fathers of them may turn
in their graves with the urgency of our words, our temptations,
they will call it:  the floating chaffs of our minds,
but we will know better.  We will walk unencumbered.
We will forget what it is to apologize.



Everyone wants a normal life.
Clarity, reason. Everyone longs
to be satisfied in the softest,
most mundane way. If the sky
holds clouds, say it might rain.
If no rain comes, who cares.
Nobody wants to stake their future
on a drop of rain. Desire is the brother
to sadness. Just give me my home
with some light burning, music
in the background, a poem dancing
intimately in my heart. Forget
the price of damage, forget the blood
of past mistakes. Everyone wants
to collect the universe, arrange
it in the order of butterflies,
speak to birds until the conversation
dries up then go to sleep
and dream and dream and dream.



it’s uncanny, the whisperings
of the past, like shadows poised
on limbs. Such lofty thoughts
planting themselves on graveyard
trees. I can’t compete. I’m on the ground.



In vain I wait
for the phone to ring,
the call that never comes.
I wait then run away
with the haste of a child’s imagination.
And when you do call, when
the phone actually rings,
I answer like a jealous woman.
Hell oh. Pissed at myself.
Pissed at what the vibration of waiting
has done to my hair.
Has done to my heart.



I dreamed last night
that I bought a new pair
of shoes, spiked heels
and kicked a hole
through the moon

and I was anything
but foolish.

I dreamed you were
there, my rival.
Still, I opened the door.
I think I clattered like dice
and almost tipped over,
almost spilled my glass of wine,
sent my lit cigarette swirling

into a cusp of starlight.



My horoscope is summer’s end.
A destiny of falling leaves.

When Camus wrote The Stranger
starting with Mother died today,

I thought of myself.

Considering my checklist,
that balance of debit versus profit,

I fall somewhere in between
It’s hard to think of romance



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