Pick-a-Poem: Vowels & Continents


This week there is no poem in the Slate arts section, so it falls to me to choose a poem to feature this week. With the help of Poems.com, I have found a poem entitled Vowels and Continents, which is written by Adam Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, this means there is no audio version of the poem for you to listen to during the day. But it’s still a good poem and I hope that you enjoy this bit of poetry injected into your week.

According to the helpful bio on the Poetry Foundation’s website, poet Adam Fitzgerald has dual editing responsibilities at Maggy, which is a really interesting literary journal, and at Monk Books, which he helped to found. His poems and other works have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Fortnight Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Post Road, Rain Taxi, and The Brooklyn Rail. He teaches creative writing at Rutgers University and lives in the East Village.

Vowels and Continents, by Adam Fitzgerald

Some peaches were gathered in your name,
and that was enough beneath panels of
trick moonlight, parsing out phrases from
clouds, asleep like a Subaru in the suburbs.

This time, we come as just one, indifferent
to mealtime, caught with acrylic metallics
between sheets, waffling our waywardness,
agreeing to save a cartoon milk carton.

In each, one of us sleeps despondent though
eager to husk, brushing back delicious curls,
yet modest in the sloppy reticence of daily
correspondence, rejigging dirty postcards.

I could see poppies doffing pinkish caps.
I sensed in each bed a swart discipline,
a taste. Thoughts broken like islands, firm
partners thick as the Kawaiisu and Khoi.

This life, in fact, is about rubbernecking space
sacred as junk-bond litigants beyond all
purview, moist expectations festering our ears.
So peers triumph. Yet in the jealous ruckus

of shucking, wincing, I’d still surround you if
I could, replaying our loquacious pastimes:
breaching your neck’s cover, its mint sugars,
our awkward commotion iridescent once.

After it descended, it didn’t cause much pain.
Finally, your resale value was ascertained.
The meek leggings of fog, its crude smallnesses,
follow someone walking a dog duly along.

If you enjoyed this poem, check out our past Poem from Slate posts, and some very old Pick-a-Poem posts.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


One thought on “Pick-a-Poem: Vowels & Continents

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