h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s

 

 

.........
LANCE LARSEN


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Cameo


  

Not Nerval but the pet lobster he strolled through Paris on a leash.  Not Edith Sitwell but the coffin she napped in. Not Emily but that spectral dress we carry whitely, like a torch, into our darkest attics.  Some objects dream us so completely we prefer them to their pathetic flesh-and-blood owners.  How we yearn to take up D.H.’s pipe  and inhale the nirvana plateaus above Taos, or bow till Marianne Moore’s tricorn hat whisks us off to a Yankees game.  Why bother with Flannery if we can lounge in our study and have a peacock on the roof spread its technicolor fan where dreams meet sky?  Let the haunting begin, let art rise from its own ashes, like the welcome Philip Larkin once gave a new professor at Exeter: “I understand poetry is on the upswing at this school.  See that you put a stop to it.”






...........

Pantoum for Trevin, Who Loves to Vacuum



  

Nineteen going on six, cocooned without words, he points to machines.  Who can save us from dust?  A static of birds, the sky chirring yes.  He points to machines and waits till you name each noise—a static of birds, the sky chirring yes.  He kisses the vacuum and waits till you name each noise, hello bright world, a ritual he craves.  He kisses the vacuum, and the thrumming mouth begins to graze.  Hello bright world. A ritual he craves: leaving swoopy trails in shag.  Call this a test. And the thrumming mouth begins to graze, leaving swoopy trails in shag, the dirt we take up, the clean left behind.  Call this a test: what stations we create, the dirt we take up, the clean left behind. Another day, another vacuum.  What stations we create, fermatas of longing, particles of God.  Another day, another vacuum: dark matter we pass through, fermatas of longing, particles of God.  Just another boy gurgling like a storm—dark matter we pass through.  Who can save us from dust?  Just another boy gurgling like a storm, nineteen going on six, cocooned without words.






...........

Almanac



  

Arm chairs sighing, old cars and young nurses sighing, motes of dust sighing in twisted columns of light, broken crayons sighing to be held once again, graves sighing both before they swallow the dead and after, sighs of pleasure and only later torment, the garden sighing for the shovel, waiting rooms sighing over spilled blood, who will collect these exhalations, parlors stained with sighs, the sighs of striped cats stretching, bats sighing to avoid flying into things at night, beets sighing as they’re yanked from the earth, PSs sighing at the end of chatty letters, when will this end, sigh sigh sigh, a stadium of sighs, the sighs of mother milk chilling in the fridge, the crucifix sighing as it settles against the warm throat, tea pots sighing for chamomile, sighs chaste and sighs pregnant, long long short—a morse code of sighs, snuffed candles sighing on the mantle, sighs above and below, the dream of the perfect sigh, sighs too small to hear, screens at drive-ins sighing at the loss of the three-story kiss.

 

 

 

  

Bio: Lance Larsen, poet laureate of Utah, has published four collections, most recently Genius Loci (University of Tampa 2013).  He has received a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fellowship in poetry. A professor at BYU, he recently directed a study abroad program in Madrid.








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