Issue 18 – Spring 2010 – Lisa Fishman

Lisa Fishman


From Current

Questions about snakes were you dreaming

the night-flecked grass and the snake

under the line, under the sheets hung on the line

Were you in the grass barefoot in the night between

one tree

said nothing


A cloud fell down

on the roof of the barn

Was it very many

days like that

Volcano made 2 boys

pour vinegar over baking soda

every time it was summer and when it was other

flew away


Here yellow mouse

I have a black hat

and the hoop was gold, being pushed with a stick by a girl

through a sunfield on the eyelids in a moving train

Oh my dress

is not my dress

I like your song

I am stung

by a yellow jacket in the Chevrolet

and wish you were

my one true love

I have a friend

the Tilt-a-Whirl

in Orfordville, said Bobby Ross

at the beauty shop—he has three hands

for braiding hair in seven strands; will take two months

to sculpt a ship on someone’s head

Here 11

kinds of kale

have insect lace around the edges

The darkest green becomes you

house in the forest, cat on the counter


Insects are in sections, noticed Aristotle

A worm came out of the table made of apple wood, wrote Thoreau


Too much grass in my eye to see well—there go the lanterns
you can take apart

Relation of part to whole makes the in-sect body and its name

Dear Freund
don’t know about the Sandman or the miniature drummer
but is a “round chisel” really a “gouge”

These are pears, said Augustine, that were not mine
nor the ribbon Rousseau’s

Our dog Pearl
ate the flesh off a pig’s skull 
in the whitening sun

You were saying, knives and grass?
A tree was felled at a slight angle 
(held at one end by its own branches), and the hewer walked first up
                                                                         and down . . .
The same axe was used for both scoring and hewing! 
This process seems difficult but it was fast.

Also, there is E. W. asking of stars, some open shirts
at the market, speaking of bones, and the radish man’s 
vegetable form of the rose



the wind to the shape of the wind

the wind to the turn of the wind

the corn grows in corners, in squares

the roads too

In a fell swoop the school came down

the mind at fault, the bricks

could be pictured there

Had been looking around in the time

around the time, may want to say chime

or the name of the cat’s Tom Horne In the Chanterelles

the fluted mushrooms—nothing known

to be that orange

Often in love

with two or more guests in attendance,

the field has a particular, imaginary charge

my dear

The foxtail by the road resembles foxes’ tails specifically but briefly

in a light also fox-colored, didn’t mean

to write it down


There were a few sentences but they did not cross

your mind at the base of your spine

They floated by

the bus you carried to the airport

& walked away, carrying only

your face in their hands

It had been gently removed

At the start of summer

dark comes from the ground and wettens

the air so socks don’t dry where they fell from the line

in the general lack of clarity about the sun’s force

at the end of the day

There are a few sentences waiting around

the path from garden to house in a small town entirely

lit up by the glowing rear-ends of fireflies, and in the category

of that which illuminates number also desire, the anti-shadow

falling simply across



Lisa Fishman is the author most recently of The Happiness Experiment and has two new collections forthcoming: Current (Free Verse Editions) and Flower Cart (Ahsahta). She also has two chapbooks newly or soon available: Lining (Boxwood Editions) and at the same time as scattering (Albion Books). She lives with her family in Madison and Orfordville, Wisconsin and directs the poetry program at Columbia College Chicago.