Three poems by Jeff Alessandrelli


Spork's Poetry
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Three poems by Jeff Alessandrelli


"To know that light falls and fills, often without our/ knowing"--Theodore Roethke

Stop blinking so loud,
winking with such perfect pitch.

It's haunted, I think, to think
about how often you think about
how much thick warm blood
is— awake or asleep—
rapidly circuiting every inch
of every certain second through your head.

And head and body,
           body and head,

we are all smitten
with the same slavers:

same reason why I can't stop
walking with anything but
my ten toes and two perfect feet,
why you refuse to grab
at the vast mountains of air,
ice and light with anything
but your only hands.


"The insane are right, but they're still the insane."--Franz Wright

The body a country,
every citizen a breath.

Then believing that
even if your parents

had never been born,
nation's founders never

having existed, you never-
the-less still would have,

fingernails clipped, lips
crimson, eyebrows formed

together, plucked apart.
So great the veracity

of your citizenry—
long and deep

and slow, each
citizen forever different

in peacetime, in war—
and always a sovereign

nation of one.

Just to fitlessly sleep
to be assured

of your country's
indomitable greatness.


"Stories are windows, / so much hacked away."-John Yau

In the winter the flowers
      turn off and hide censored underground;
           one of earth's many faring reflexes,
                a pressure point pushed.

The soil is the living skin
      of the earth
           and for months at a time
                it often scabs white over.

Still even in the winter the sunlight
      is made up of a thousand, a million
           many different kinds of colors
                of light.

The dinosaurs made lots of art
      he thinks, walking out of the museum,
           lots of brutal, vicious, bloody
                art. On the street

he puts on his lucky blue
      windbreaker, straightens the bill
           of his favorite hat.
                Discovers a bouncy ball

in his jacket pocket
      and starts rapidly bouncing it
           in-between every once-heaved
                sidewalk crack.


Jeff Alessandrelli lives in Lincoln, NE, where he co-curates the latest incarnation of the Clean Part Reading Series. He is the author of the little book Erik Satie Watusies His Way Into Sound (Ravenna Press, 2011); recent work appears in CutBank, Western Humanities Review, Hotel Amerika, DIAGRAM, Forklift, Ohio and Laurel Review.