from "What Now?"

Lisa Fishman


How is every giant lunatic today? Drawing a picture the

eye opens. Eye draws,

            here you are, three trees

in the snow, little cone-shaped

shrubby trees slanted as

a border for a driveway - 

neighbors. No more



One friend is writing

winter another

is pounding copper

and there are plans

and plans to march.


The bees are sleeping, another reports.

We eat some things in the city where

he has no car but many

hives, no boyfriend

at the moment & is 68.


I don't know how to assemble

it any more - the pages and

words. Where are the notebooks

Notebooks - who knows?

Where they are,

what they say. Can you

hold me in tensility?

Say words   


             Says each word






When the picture's broken the frame collides

I love you they say without music

Oh now it's over where were you flower?


Time, rhyme.


Today is December



last line is X =


Today is December 1st 2016


Today is ­___


X = Y


Death is = ___


X         Y


Today is Dec. 1, 2016


I did see that leaf.


Missing the play.


Then the election.


Today is


Death is


tumbling out in a rush




story of life in a time






Night Skiing


at first in the junipers

hemlock & spruce


the poem needs more space

than at first





Full moon if I could see it

where we said we'd be

one fine birth

That in a letter

said a round lie

who won

time word orifice

a day before 50

go away sun &

come around a little more






Truth-telling is possible, thought Laura Riding, so the poem does not need to happen. That is, poetry should not exist. Rather, language should speak truth in all ways. Not in a separate realm, a special form, called poetry. Poetry existing as a separate category prevents language from speaking truth outside of poetry. Her decision therefore: No more poems. Write a dictionary. Where is this dictionary? Florida?






I was aware of a headache developing despite very rarely getting headaches. I thought about X who came in and out of the time and I let it go. I remembered doing this before, and first doing it in 1995. I believe I pictured both of those rooms. At one point it was hot. I think I thought of one student's two descriptions from the first time; her name started with T, and of another student's a few years later. I think her name was Brie. She had 4 or 7 toes on each foot, I noticed when we went outside.






not "using words"


a way of being in the world, not extracting something from it            


an interaction





the Five Ways to jump


the seven breaths


one pair of longjohns


the wine dark sea


the problem of 2016






Spring goes down

writing does too

sludge and muck

& sleep destroyed by hysterical birds


Who needs to sing at 4 a.m.


Riding says not at all






Michael says the poem will speak

to an unknown addressee


the poem escapes what it means to say


the poem's being in the world






Almost trying to the sun I'm eating that I feel or think, going on without or also a cardboard box for this interior and about to hear someone shifting, lying down to say I'm thinking, in relation to the underworld I'm still my postcard from Brooklyn not on time I've finished the arson thing off to the right.

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Author Bio: Lisa Fishman’s most recent of six collections are 24 Pages and other poems (Wave Books, 2015) and Deer 1, a hand-stitched booklet on Oxeye Press. Her earlier books include F L O W E R C A R T and The Happiness Experiment (Ahsahta Press). New poems appear in the final issue of 6x6 and are forthcoming in Emerald Tablet II: The Book of Formation. She is a dual citizen of the US and Canada, lives in southern Wisconsin, and teaches at Columbia College Chicago.