anticipate, absorb, and try to take


The encyclopedia. Its weight

as chiton. Names


rebuff reading, at least

perspective, cut-and-paste


Leviathan. The oil-on-water stately

magnifico inferno Nabokov plunge

into stiletto gush. The state as seraphim alias


razor has many guises

severally replete, immune

beige. To imagination. Blake’s


Rose, lit. And bleeding sparks. Like what

shored commerce invented sparkler.



the Matter, Forme, & Power

of a





land which is imperishable and waters

the means of transport thence






to articulate these swift

preferences like winning


zoomed language capital I

ZED to conceive


ownership vs. pleasure’s

lusciousness fallen out of


usage: whalebone, corset, stays

as the air, the wind, the spirits vital and


sometimes the images that rise in the is

nothing delivered but by the name of


under the awning of surf

brush with what can


wound would frame confession

in order to press demand


migrates between

the gathered when


my spirit at the expense of






how to break asylum to withstand

the notion of being clever


I explained the word cater and bowed

smugly with my imaginary tray


One by one I made them paraphrase

the listening on mercantilism


The parameter is annunciation, the body lifted

on a nonexistent platter toward the blind


eye of the cupola filled with cloud and gray

If we buy that


Love? what W.H. wrote about Nijinsky

or who America owns


the bones in the graveyards turned

over the names of stitches


the kinds of orchards the pastoral

lacquering the stolen to which


it is always at heart

dramatizes a total






I don’t want to be stranded

even through a wound        

–the orderly


crouching beside my belly and coaxing

off the bandages (forth from the little telling 


hairs) so very gently and saying sorry       sorry

sorry     for their stickiness                


does kindness come from and can you notice

that you contain bones?


I I I in the green tiled walls

of my highschool phonebooth with the font


getting smaller as I type this

culpable as Alice—               knowing


a fish by the crunching of its bones. Its little lyric bones


Did the water all boil away yet? Dizziness

In the middle of a dark wood the wish for a


beginning breaking                    






but I cannot not

exist again yet

crouching in


a furnace squatting

prim as grass

ground glinting


objects within it

seem not radiant


shades into



end, fungible


burst of If,



I moved from Portland, OR to Damascus, Syria in the spring of 2009, a few months after the bombing of Gaza, because I felt (inchoately and narcissistically) at a private dead-end with US foreign policy and with the insularity of the American body politic. I felt that if I couldn’t change anything else in the world, I could at least change my own location. Living in Damascus until October 2012 focused my attention on the (of course unevenly distributed) experiences of vulnerability, precarity, threat, coercion, resilience and resistance. My eco-poetics is just the question arising from this: how to articulate the difference between a scream and a laugh, when both mark the perspectival disjuction between transgressor and transgressed? 


ImageJennifer MacKenzie lives in Istanbul Turkey. Her recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Forklift Ohio, Lungfull, and Two Serious Ladies; her first book of poems, Distant City, will be published in 2014 as part of Fence Books’ Modern Poets Series. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s