Bio: Jacqueline Schaalje is a former journalist and has published photographs in magazines in the Netherlands and Israel, and stories and poetry in the Massachusetts Review, Talking Writing, Frontier Poetry, Grist, among others. Her stories were finalists for the Epiphany Prize and in the New Guard Competition. She has received support and/or scholarships at the Southampton Writers Conference and International Women's Writing Guild, and One Story and Live Canon workshops. She joined the Tupelo Press 30/30 project. She earned her MA in English from the University of Amsterdam and currently resides in Israel.
Grip of north west and bevvy of kale waves
lave to the cliff waist. Punch feet in the bright.
Lift them and a child with green star pinpricks for eyes
put to sleep beside the Mickey Mouse clockface stares
at flickering hands through dots of crayola, yellow, salmon.
Often our nights turn to an appeal to find phosphor treasure
on the submerged sandbar.
of time's fists. There she was born, not mine, pure
rap for sweet time. Rouse, rouse in name of future people.
Ferret a trail out of our nature's motion.
Societal efficiency tears a discordant skirl.
Our generation and their civilization smell
of water pooling around ash stuttering cigar smoke.
this cult sex, death current. Pare a wave with a scythe.
Under phenological fog we look for lost seasons,
electrum shopped off pyramids; tap their hypercubes.
Child, I need you to be awake for the moment
we unlock your home screen. It's okay to watch
when we negotiate sick ploys; press down your helmet.
and papa float out
in the tide. Resolve to tweak the groundwork.
Their empires survived on things sustaining emptiness.
A heavy lid hinges on what we owe, should share.
Our discomfort aims to paint the dark.
Ophiuchus, bearer of healing, washes clean from indigo.
Announcements and appointments know no defeat.
Next, the moon
is full and
in close orbit to yield to our coloring affliction.
Have you felt a statue's fear? – William E. Stafford
The atoms in this bronze statue no longer move.
The dim eyes do no more see how this square
that once stooped to the demon of Mammon has stopped
to be awed by his living likeness. The hands
do no more tally numbers, as they have since bronzed
in flesh and become great-grandparents of a diverse crowd
that can no longer be counted upon to carry him.
In this statue the atoms no longer roam around.
Why, they do, they spin, but have nowhere to go.
The air in its celestial order knits his tough skin,
until like a sausage in a mesh string bag,
stuck in head first, he's on his way to be shopped
from the ranks. Pity him, his rusted simper
lacks teeth to chew himself out of this rope.
See how pigeon poop tacks onto his solid wig
and shoulders like pelleted dandruff. His arms
would like to wipe the white shot but they're stiff,
so stiff. And when they're bound for the harbor
bank, he needs many pulling hands to plunge him
into the blooming dark. His chafed nose won't react in,
but be borne by water. Now he's forever, been and seen.