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






In a way they led the way for us
His paint brush in her dark room

Her pencil on my paper
My watercolor in your gallery

Your salary behind my muse
His country house holding your oeuvre

Our livelihood swimming under
Their gesso, their baby bearing

Her ambivalence, our babies bearing
Their Michelangelo muscles, you

Boring into me, me bearing down on you
Our raising, rising, wave-riding, making.





My favorite time
Is Friday night
Because it takes
The edge off
And I sleep better.


When I’m doing
The dishes he
Comes up from
Behind and
Presses me
Into the counter top.
Erotic! I slap him
With the dish towel.


He likes to mow
It after lunch
Wearing an old
Blue work shirt
Shorts and
Carhartt boots.


We did it once
Here last summer
On the picnic table
And I wrote
A poem about


Wine bottles, snake skins
An artificial Christmas
Tree that Grandpa
Bought that we all
Rejected, dirt floor,
Wooden stairs.

Guest Room

Mark and Dot in
Colonial portraits
Sternly assessing
The needlepoint
Sampler across
The room.
“Remembrance is
The sweetest flower
That in a garden grows.”


We have to wear
Masks to sweep
Out 80 years of
Dust, bat shit,
Mouse droppings
And dead leaves.

Dining Room

We would like to invite
Our old friends to dinner
But she is in rehab
And he is in bed with
The interior decorator.

Living Room

I sit next to the dog and
Wildflowers of North America
Avoiding the dark
Sooty rectangle
Where ashes lie.


I dare you to open it.

For Love to Continue

It was a humdrum graphite morning.
The subsidiary showed up late
And tired.  Her head kept falling

Out of its orbit and into
The ventilation queue.  When the
Astronaut stopped to take off

His make-up, he presented her
With a décolletage of primrose
Petals on a cracked vitrine.

They entwined themselves on the lattice
Only to recoil a bit when an erratic
Dilettante usurped their handholds.

With an adroit maneuver, they
Sandwiched the euphemism between
His anxiety and her euphoria.

The cordial they squeezed from
Their union induced lightheadedness.
They cut out the obit, pasted it

On the last page, then folded the page
In half, folded the corners into triangles
And flicked it across the kitchen table.



Bio: Sally Van Doren is the author of two poetry collections, Possessive (LSU Press 2012)  and Sex at Noon Taxes, (LSU Press 2008) which received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets.  Her poem, “Preposition,” is featured as an animated film in the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Everywhere.  Excerpts from her epic poem, “The Sense Series” served as the text for a multi-media performance at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.  She divides her time between St. Louis, where she is a curator for the St. Louis Poetry Center, and New York City.  Her website is: www.sallyvandoren.com


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