Elizabeth Jacobson’s second book, Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air, winner of the 2017 New Measure Poetry Prize selected by Marianne Boruch, is forthcoming from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press in 2018. A chapbook, Are the Children Make Believe? will be published in winter, 2018, by Dancing Girl Press. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, Crab Creek Review, Orion Magazine, Hinchas de Poesia, Indolent Books, JuxtaProse, The Journal of American Poetry, The Laurel Review, The Miami Rail, Ploughshares, Plume, Poetica, Poet Lore, Women’s Studies, Ghost Fishing: Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology and others.
(Even if you cannot see the link for the online poems — it is there. If you click the white shadow you will be connected – thanks!)
from THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POETRY — This long poem is the last section in my forthcoming book, NOT INTO THE BLOSSOMS AND NOT INTO THE AIR, fall 2018, from Free Verse Editons/Parlor Press.
FROM THE MIAMI RAIL
From Taos Journal of Poetry
From About Place Journal
From The American Journal of Poetry, July 2017
From JuxtaProse, June 2017
From Ploughshares, Spring 2017
From Indolent Books, What Rough Beast
from Plume, December, 2016, issue #65
from Orion Magazine May/June 2016
From American Poetry Review July/August 2016:
Now that I have read this story about the cows
I think of them at night when I cannot sleep,
how they are so still in their grassy field,
seemingly suspended like animations of themselves.
Even though there are only 3 of them, I count them over and over,
envision them as if I were floating above their pasture,
observe the different stances they choose:
the 3 of them standing bottom to bottom, or
head to head,
sometimes in a row, one behind the other
sometimes side by side.
They stand where they want and nurse their calves.
They lie down in their field when they feel like it.
If the farmer wants to kill one, and it won’t get in the truck
he gives up and lets it live.
If the farmer wants to sell one, and it won’t get in the truck
he gives up and lets it stay.
I am glad that I read this story by Lydia Davis.
I like to think of how she stood in her window and watched these cows.
I imagine how she may have moved from inside her house to outside her house,
depending on the weather, to stand and watch these cows,
month after month,
and although the details of their days are rather plain
she wrote a very essential story.
Right before I fall asleep I think about how there are no cows where I live
but there are mountains,
and that I watch them move in this same way.
They open and close, depending on the weather
and like these 3 cows, these mountains are a few of the things left
that get to live exactly as they must.
Lay Hold of Me
Remember the giant whooping crane on the county highway
whose mate had been hit, stretched out dead at the center
of the road? She stood by him, wings open and flapping, shrewd
voice anxious, screaming, her dark red crown bowing in her descent
through the rim of despair. With each oncoming car she took a short
running flight to get out of the way, pacing the side of the road until
she could return to him. The next day, when still there, exhausted,
wings tattered and brown, we scraped what was left of her lover
off the asphalt with a snow shovel, and laid the body on the low,
dry threadgrass by the embankment. The birds had come that July
to our swill, which had filled with monsoon rain. She stood there,
close to us, in the still, yellowing grass, her interminable legs wobbling
underneath her body. The long toes of her feet twitching. That
shallow silver dish of my mind chattering, lay hold of me. Lay hold.
(Note: this poem references a story by Lydia Davis from her book can’t and won’t.)
from Hinchas de Poesia:
by Elizabeth Jacobson Remember how huge I looked in that hideous melon colored dress, the lavender lily print splattered on like giant food stains, and how mind-blowing the sex was? Every tissue inside me swollen to plum ripeness. We outdid ourselves that first year, two babies taking root – it was as if a garden […]
by Elizabeth Jacobson All that summer I marched around Manhattan braless. I wore a white tank top silk-screened with a seagull and my nipples raised the tips of its wings toward the sky. Auden was dead, but I swear I saw his ghost shuffling along St. Mark’s Place, in slippers, chewing on a piece of […]
from Her Knees Pulled In
The sun again
too hot sun of nothing growing
up from the earth
like a mined mountain
will leave in its dusk
the shells of insects
a parched tailless lizard
hanging by its nails
from the stucco of the house
an owl hole gouged in its back
no place can fill her
the sun having dried
every pore tight
no moisture curls her hair
comes out of her head like copper
won’t let her sleep
even her fingernails
can’t scratch in
| 2012 © Elizabeth Jacobson |