Many Poems by Marc Paltrineri


FOXGLOVE

if you’d like your arms to
vanish hold them still
very still against your body
they will vanish just like glass
your thoughts they will thank you
for letting more light in
and your guests will bow remarking
amongst themselves
how much it feels like
a weight’s been lifted and it has
they are right but be careful
this trick applies also
to the heart if you stay still
long enough your heart
will become windows
two windows on the same floor
of separate apartments in separate cities
in which two strangers
turn off the lights to watch the storm
throwing a sheet over
their separate cities their separate
hearts with
pretty much the same view
_______________________________________

FOXGLOVE

I am not a nature poet
foxglove no really I am not
trees and clouds they
surround me you should
see it where I live
there are mice in the walls
here my trust in windows
is growing thin
foxglove I am not
a nature poet I can’t help it
leaves are falling on my head
if I lived in the city perhaps
I’d write about city things
metrocards and chinese
newspaper mixed up in my
bed and the streets would seem
slick with the reminder
we are vulnerable to the
whims of concrete how soon
it might flood or rise
against us dear god like sequoias
look at those buildings come
_______________________________________

FOXGLOVE

I lied I am
not immortal
there is no
such thing as
zombies at least
not like that
I am glad
summer is over
the leaves are stirring
in their
paper coffins
we can step
I am sorry
I will die
in all honesty I’d
rather be flying
in a boat across the
ocean without a wave
of hubris or
blade of grass
to stop us
to put us in our place
_______________________________________

FOXGLOVE

is the owl who
flew beside us from
the city to leafless no
where there are things
along this world
who look like forests
someone sharpened
into pencils
what kind of blue
would you call that blue
inside our bodies
the sky
flying through us
owls and interstates
we too have veins
and scenic vistas
_______________________________________

FOXGLOVE

you give the wind goosebumps
when you say those things gray
hood slipped over tuesday
the trees are different let’s
have a party and the fortress
don’t invite the fortress
it will rain and the gray will soak
our pants the way the blank soaks
through the window on this first
cold night of the century
this new one we’re inventing
and what a pity we can’t keep
the colors what a pity
such a stupid thing to say
FOXGLOVE
it’s funny you say
we have teeth and
back to sleep again
I steal this for a poem
because it’s true
today is the first day
of flannel-chested
october and they are filling
the streets selling
apples and having babies
grinding apples into juice
and we can marvel at
the gummy babies we can
eat three donuts each
I think I’ll kiss you
on the mouth now
wake you up to say aren’t you
glad we have teeth
let’s eat some apples
even if our gums bleed
_______________________________________

FOXGLOVE

at all costs
pronouns must be
avoided
they leave
paper-trails to the
blood-source poachers
want your skin will
kill you lined up at the
mall to get it
let’s not speak
of you just go
like the spirit bear goes
succinctly into the
forest be
like the black bear go
put on your white
bear’s suit
_______________________________________
Marc Paltrineri‘s work has been published or is forthcoming in places such as Washington Square, The Laurel Review, H_NGM_N, Sixth Finch, Jellyfish, Redivider, amongst others. He is an editor and founder of the hand-bound poetry journal Sun’s Skeleton and a poetry editor for the online journal Barnstorm. He teaches composition and poetry at the University of New Hampshire where he is pursuing an MFA. He lives nearby.