Two poems and excerpts from "Anyjar, the incredible conception" by Jaimie Gusman


Spork's Poetry
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Two poems and excerpts from "Anyjar, the incredible conception" by Jaimie Gusman


from Anyjar, the incredible conception

I once heard an artist compare her process to a goldfish,
the paper growing to the size of her studio.

I know I'm real, because I'm not infinitely sized.
But this does not stop me from pinching other things:

the alarm clock, the snooze, the numbers,
(refer me
to the morning
I have been alive for 26 years and 5,763 hours;
I need more)

the keys, the steering wheel, the accelerator,
(I pushed,

speeding to the airport to pick you up,
everything requires me)

(as you stepped off the plane,
as you fashioned more
gait with every step)

a suitcase
(everything you own,
now ours, to closet
our space, to divide)


Explain the Anyjar

Anyjar on the sill, just jar
and I, inside and removed.

In the dream I am escaping
the narrative of invisible glass.

I try exiting, I keep knocking down
the exit, but the knocks are mute.

My fist warps its woodenness,
its woodenness warps its wood.

Not sure I am awake, my fist
apparent, like a day-kite.


Lover, jar, and I make three
silent observances. The name

of the red-head bird escape us,
as she calls out her grievances.

Add Lover to the equation, and
is the question big enough now?

Lover stares at Anyjar these days.
I feel the affair grow into inheritance.

Watch me, as I cannot name this
inadequacy of skin or feather.


I always hated birds. I beg
the Anyjar to hold her ransom,

but ask nothing in return
as to keep her suffering quiet.

No walls to Anyjar to leave me out.
I no longer believe in the clean break.

To think that I could hear you better,
is to pretend that where you came from

was singular. I explain—Anyjar is serious
yarn, also an amusing, cambering jug.


I take a swig and that moves me
so that there is a room between us.

Outside are children-bandits
bicycling with bare feet.

Engines spoil the street, our walls
vibrate, but do not crush the silence.

You say that this cage is a painting.
I can hear you through the cement,

petting a wing, telling the bird
to stay still, otherwise it will hurt.


Is she terrified or is that the look
of exhausted meditation?

The window does not shut,
does not open, does not sleep.

She watches; I wonder
if that's where she sees herself.

Anyjar explains—I am amusing
a design that builds as it breaks.

However the breeze pushes
the air is no direction.


from Anyjar, the incredible conception

We settled—Lover and I—We slept—Lover and I—We woke.
We—negotiators of this habitat—required an other,
and so Anyjar

sat next to the pot of coffee,
on the low shelf in my office,
against the wall of the shower,
under the table in the middle of the room,
and slept by our feet.

In the morning, Anyjar reminds me
to record my dreams.


Love, Anyjar

Anymore, I say, forevermore
to quantify and qualify so closely,
I ask my glass-popping heart
how long do I have you?
500-1,000 years; my life seems more nylon than ever.

Dear bottled-brothers scattered in dirt /
Dear cigarette butts in new concrete silk /
Dear plastic bag, or is that your aortic arch?

To stretch your rubber scent all over my body,
walk the shore beside your shadowy skin.
My Captain Hook piercing the ocean's big eyes

you sail out /
metabolize your half-life /
message me when you shimmy back /


Jaimie Gusman lives in Honolulu where she teaches and studies at the University of Hawaii. She is the Poetry Editor for the Hawaii Review and runs the M.I.A. Art & Literary Series. Her work has been published in Anderbo, Juked, Barnwood, DIAGRAM, Dark Sky Magazine, 2 River Review, and others. She has poems forthcoming in Shampoo.