Judy Kronenfeld

                                                       Jylian Gustlin

                                                     Jylian Gustlin

Even Song      

 

Outside for hours, stretching

to top the heavenly bamboo,

bending to cut the dry

lavender stalks, then taking

a slow stroll as the afternoon

begins to close: late glow

cherishing white garage doors, back-lit pine

turned into gold-beaded fringe,

the beads dazzling up and down

the needles until the drama

of the light quiets.

 

Thank you, I don’t know

who.

 

And for lamplight’s  

bright halo beside

my reading chair,

over my bed; and for

my bed, the loft of its

covers. For sleep

when it comes, its loft,

its covering, I want to

praise, dear no one. 

And to thank you,

of the blank signature,

for the ongoing book

I bring to bed, in whose world

I so easily remain—its pages

turning pleasantly over

and over like days.

 


Born with a Stainless Steel Spoon in My Mouth

                    —on scholarship, Smith College, 1962

 

A distaff Nathan Zuckerman, and no

George Plimpton:

           

back sore with the weight

of knowledge, as I bike

from the library in the greening almost summer

to my monastic room, gray

with smoke at 2 a.m.,

           

phosphorescent polka dots

on my palms, pre-exam

notebook pages galvanic

in highlighter neon yellow,

self-correct red and original blue—

popping like Mondrian’s Broadway

Boogie Woogie in Modern Art

143,

 

essays punched out

on stiff keys; the holes of the o’s

on the Corrasable Bond

almost burnt: a residue

of eraser crumbs

and paper dust,

a two-pack stench

of Merit butts,

 

and my eyes twitching as if the anxious

engine of my vigorous ambition

had force-marched me past

the dazzling light of closed-door pools

that pierced protective slatted fences,

and strobed my glasses.

 


Judy Kronenfeld is the author of Bird Flying through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), Shimmer (WordTech, 2012), Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, 2nd edition, (Antrim House, 2012)—winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize, and Shadow of Wings (Bellflower, 1991) as well as two poetry chapbooks, Ghost Nurseries (Finishing Line, 2005), and Disappeared Down Dark Wells and Still Falling (Inevitable Press, 2000). Her poems have appeared widely, in such journals as American Poetry Journal, Calyx, Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, DMQ Review, Natural Bridge, The Pedestal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, and in more than twenty anthologies; she is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and co-winner of the of the first annual poetry contest sponsored by the dA Center for the Arts, Pomona California (2002). She also writes creative nonfiction, which has appeared in Under the Sun and Hippocampus, among other places, and the more occasional short story (Literary Mama, Madison Review, North American Review and others). She is Lecturer Emerita, Creative Writing Department, University of California, Riverside, and an Associate Editor of the online poetry journal, Poemeleon.