State of the State by JoAnna Novak


Girls stay invisible says the woman 
I could become if I never left 
Massachusetts and let myself long 
for pleasure, get planted in the ground, 
crest my crown off the coast, ride 
all the swans in common. Say mute 
in New York, invasive in Manhattan, 
cygnet by my favorite Russian’s tongue. 
My Russian is no woman, but yes 
pleasure, he who—listen some, in St. 
Petersburg I could’ve been: small, very 
flou kind of girl, pretty little photism, so 
and so: his palpable girl grown on 
words, light-papered walls, fluttering for the 
moths. I am many mouths and 
months away from being someone’s 
bag. I never needed a feeding 
tube in Massachusetts, nor, for that 
matter, did I require nutrients in Illinois 
or Missouri. Florida, though: glimpse 
through the mist my anklets (tendons), 
bracelets (cicatrix), coccyx (bruised), 
soul-weather (vitreous, smashed, delete). 
Were you in Florida, woman? Did 
I meet a Disney man, too? Fourteen, 
eighteen, seventy-two: I charmed the guards, 
licked their flavored tattoos. Pleasure, 
we argue, starts with night-Grammy’s 
or soft truffled cheese, a slideshow of 
cheagles and porgis: other hybrid 
dogs. The DNA test is a clickable 
truth. The woman is a cluck away 
from her soft-cornered hen house. 
And the man is seventy-eight, eighty- 
one, four or seven, charting his 
stabby afterimage in Montana, 
California, Orlando, Massachusetts: 
we argue about Othello and Iago, 
bad hair and grainy lost time, in- 
visible girl: I know what I see. Scene 
where I am only you. Call 
woman—brazen, brackish, back 
watered, not the one I pay to see, 
woman with scattered scabs who feeds 
me carved smiles and nod after nod 
as I search my week for some 
state or another that would benefit 
from garbled recreate: it was like 
this and I cried that, which was 
one way to call my wolf a sheep: 
march into the woods and unclip 
that leash. Do we have anything 
else in Massachusetts, viscid 
state to which I’m stuck? We have 
witches in Massachusetts and good 
schools in Salem. Classroom swath 
of Massachusetts. Strong maple 
smoke curling from the woodshed 
called Massachusetts: primers and 
grammars and crooks. I thought 
I had missed all my country; hadn’t 
my girl gone untook? Oh they spelled 
me by the throat, tunnel red-swabbed 
and stung. Spit, spit, spit. They 
knew me by the hole, the crook 
in my door. The nose in the crack: 
dog again, hungry for dust called joy. 
I confess I do not believe my dog; 
there’s a little girl inside her, 
invisible but for her wet eyes. Crumbs 
of people sleep in her fur, the 
animal from my natural state, she 
from the cramped up city, east of 
Mississippi. From the backseat she’s 
sniffed Connecticut, New York, 
Minnesota, Vermont. She is not at all 
large, not very, not tall. Twelve girls 
over state lines—New Hampshire—dark 
taxes, shotgun booze, skimpy 
women—and woof, she eats yams 
to care not when I sob, she tucks in her 
ball. Massachusetts, Massachusetts, 
who was I in Missouri, unleashed 
on casinos and confluences, ready to 
get in any guy’s boat. Drop and push 
twenty, thirty, forty, five. Knees 
in the air, triceps wide. Triangle, clap, 
flush, fold. We steered Wednesday 
upstream, ate afternoon sun one Thursday, 
braced my neck for donuts one 
bent-over morning. Was I the girl 
inside of myself? I remembered 
Canada, Vancouver—what do they 
call a state in Canada? What do 
they name a scene, a mood, a fidget, 
a flight? Six hours, three snacks, 
several sideways looks. I needed 
tennis courts across the city, raw 
vistas and fish on the second floor 
next to the French president. Pass 
me the ha-ha, bridgelet my sorrows. 
Row, row: we paddled into nothing 
and our boat held me down, oar 
slapping fish thinking, sun cresting, 
coast, coast, splashed throat: I 
could’ve drowned my good 
hopes. One man took me to my 
first orchard and fed my neck, 
red lips, apple throat: Pink Lady, 
Sweet Sixteen, American Gala 
Beauty Crisp. They make these 
in Minnesota, he said, which meant 
at a lab in the U. An apple is a 
boat, hollowed out for peanut butter, 
raisins; an apple star stamped on 
your palm keeping you in the club 
(I am always hungry), pared 
into eight or twelve (wanting), twenty 
-four, forty-two, depending on your state. 
An orange was snack. The men 
smuggled more: cigarettes and chalk 
for us to trace our bodies on 
concrete. Crush my head, said the 
skinnies dribbling, afraid of their women, 
escaped from their tall Russian men. 
We would’ve chosen basement life, 
state of mold, better invisible stars: 
flush with the ceiling, albino by day.

Voice: Red Turnip, Unnoticed Float, Crown On by Catherine Blauvelt


Voice: Red Turnip, Unnoticed Float, Crown On

a wet bob, an occasion for weeding
the tops of waves, Styrofoam plates, say
hello. She gathers I love how it looks
her voice moved like wet hair. Sky built of wind
now is gone, and then go my limbs: Youth Pops.

Sudden the bud; in example I’m dead 
counting pebbles the rabbit stays by me
and eats. Have this enormous invisible.
Take and then breathe out wants out: two rabbits
bud long summers. Did I ask her? Without 
saying it, have. A leg settles in
a delicate god. A maple tree 
finds its way in a flower pot, finds
its parentheses drink until wood wilts. 

White Drapes Between, Fill Up The Climate. Remove by Catherine Blauvelt


White Drapes Between, Fill Up
The Climate. Remove

Us. Sanely
I struck
adhesive. I go set
out on a ledge. Just one
argument. Far out set by them
barely sugar. In the forest
now canopy. It thinks it is
movement. On a ledge. Pomp sets
well. Voice ahead of us. May
this thrill. Move at lilt.
Critters, weak opponents.
Geese make love to conceal
glitters. Stop my head
all the same. A little ahead, white
between just one. So well
pines the rind of grass.
See instead of finger
marks. I live here.
Intervals. Kites.
Here is fur. All in black
before the heaven drape.
Hurl and soon a prompt lift.

Snow Flower Wag Holds The Day Here Beneath by Catherine Blauvelt


Snow Flower Wag Holds The Day Here Beneath

a tree; to exist 
the green is invisible. Arms dip in the sink, 
          push the mud logged with furniture,
          lock and drawer. Water pleats
appear 
by waterfall. 
I’ll rest too. Near you I can be 
present, frond. 
White kept at the surrounding, 
stood looking, fit my face to see if I was
ironwork. 
              Wader, your hinges 
              shock the shape 
              water’s spilling; your legs now in eyes. 
When I go mole, cover me.  

Wild Clot With Wind Out; Altogether Glancing by Catherine Blauvelt


Wild Clot With Wind Out; Altogether Glancing

golden to surface, blurt in the sulk. The
length above elopes from its end. Oh whose.
Permitting slumber itself the landscape
the silence hasn’t moved, off  until I
could not see life let on. ACTUAL HY
PER BUT VIBRANT NONSTOP GOLDEN. Sow it
back! Rejoicing pleats pleat downfall. For us,
visible fails; left the wind out. Plasters
 a downfall. Motionless. Next to the rain.
Sigh if not love low voices so last, The
World. Through the door The World. And here we go
into The World again. An unequal
length; linear linnets, intestines pul
ling my ears outpouring the circumstance.