Two Poems

My Fjord

 

I will sail through my own fjord and I will name the fjord My Fjord.

I know it’s incorrect to say that the Vikings wore horned helmets,

but I will wear a horned helmet, for my job is to correct history.

I’ll leap over vats of mead and let libations drench my puffy skirt.

(I like mead but it’s amazing how refreshing milk directly from the cow can be.)

And then I will sail on My Fjord plowing through every flaming

funeral.  Enough celebrations of victory over life.

And who will stop my marauding?

For these are my violent decades,

and everyone everywhere from all time:

those are my own people.

 

 

 

Someone Else’s Someone Else

 

If it’s not about us
is it only about someone else?
Does someone else’s illusion
beat someone else’s trick?
The trick I like best:
the cloak of invisibility.
Not to be invisible, exactly–
but I can’t help but wish
that sometimes I wouldn’t
see what I’m seeing—
when seeing the worst.
Or I could wear the cloak of silence
when silence isn’t safe.
I suppose when silence isn’t safe
someone else’s tongue
will either sharpen or rust
someone else’s knife.
Even when it’s not about us
it must be about
someone else and us.

 

 

 

Lee Upton’s most recent book is Visitations: Stories, published in August in the Yellow Shoe Fiction Series (LSU).  Other recent books include Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles from the Cleveland State University Poetry Center (2015), and The Tao of Humiliation: Stories, winner of the BOA Short Fiction Award, finalist for The Paterson Prize, and named one of the “best books of 2014” by Kirkus Reviews.

 

 

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