Category: Poems

Poetry Magazine, Fuck You Very Much

This is a poem I wrote that was rejected by Poetry Magazine.  Again.


New Shoes

There is a woman whom I know,

Who has no name to me.

The woman sits still in her house on a hill,

Heating a kettle for tea.

She thumbs through the ads

Folded in with the news,

Lifts her left eyebrow at

Jackets, slacks, and black shoes.

Pens a circle around her size

Though the woman never buys

What she’ll only live long enough to lose.


There is a woman whom I know,

Who has no name to me.

She wears a chill in her house on the hill;

There are few as lonesome as she.

The corners of her mouth tugged down,

They, tugged by age into a perennial frown.

Behind these lips are crowded teeth.

Behind her eyes flicker ten more Julys

In dreams of a house by the sea.


There is a woman whom I know

Who has no name to me.

Despite house and hill, she is unfulfilled;

She plucks a thread off her stockinged knee.

Never cared for music much.

Never was moved by melodies, as such.

“I cannot stand it when the orchestra tunes.”

She drips honey into her tea with a spoon.


This woman whom I know,

Whose name is irrelevant to me,

We know not each other well

Though we’ve known each other long, I and she.

We have often talked and taken walks

Despite notes she penned

We are not fond friends

Although she may disagree.


There is a woman whom I know,

Who remains nameless to me.

From the windowsill in her house on the hill,

She sees sunrise sweep the tops of trees.

Though her head is cold and skin full of folds,

She has still not settled what she believes.

She pills and plucks a piece of lint from her sleeve.

Distracted, wooden, she stood on her stoop,

“Oh how Winter makes the saplings droop.”


There is a woman whom I often see

Whose name is of no relevance to me.

She ingests a pill in her house on a hill

To abate a bout of indigestion.

As Nature tapers the gates of her life

She is more of a child and less of a wife,

Her mood is loose, sealed to suggestion,

She coughs pleasantries, plans, and pliant congestion.


This woman whom I know

Whose house is built on a hill filled with leaves,

Awaits early sleep in the early eve.

Not known to visitors by first or last name.

She weathers the wet months with chest aches and pains.

Hair lined with the chin, thin, and bleached.

“I fear the clouds are filling with rain,”

She pokes at the gutters that splutter when breached.

Cobwebs and clutter in the corners of her house

Clutter the corridor from her mind to her mouth.

The woman doesn’t know she has nothing left to teach.


There is woman whom I know

Whose name I shall withhold.

“This dump on the hill is only until

My home by the sea be blueprinted and built.

Then this old address will be dressed and sold.”

Years she has rehearsed this line,

Cleans the clock, she waits and waits.

Nature tapers its indifferent gates.


There is a woman whom I know

Whose name I will conceal.

With the electric grill in her house on the hill

She has fixed me many a meal.

The corners of her mouth slumped down,

Nested in the creases carved by her frown.

She happens to pass her reflection on the glass

Of the pane embedded in the door.

She blinks and blinks and leans on the sink,

“How strange—I could’ve sworn I’d smiled more.”


This woman whom I know

Whom I met long ago

Who will never leave her hill for the sea,

She is petty and prideful yet I protect her name          

Because I love this woman, you see.

On the windowsill in her house on the hill

There sits a photo framed.

Behind the dust and behind the glass,

The boy in that photo is me.