- Birthday, Poetry, Reading, Writing

From the Archives: From STORY, by Jennifer Firestone


Happy birthday, Jennifer Firestone! Celebrate by reading this Firestone poetic sequence we published in 2020!


The bar man prepared several ornate tropical drinks repeatedly.

Presumably the ambulance crew patiently rattled protocol while lifting.

Presumably another tourist couple hopped into the back with humanitarian kindness.

Presumably the day was pitch-perfect and the sea roamed mercifully.

Presumably there was a call to loved ones, a call to a doctor.

Presumably you thought this was your first call in marriage.

Presumably you thought many times, I’ll write this.

A low moan pitched to the deep side shakes itself.











Sand kicks up










A stranger’s reflection spoke to him in what appeared to be words.


“Swerve of a footstep curving.”






Writing this as one who was once there.


“Silence. Sirens. . .”










The beach if evaluated in present mode was furthest from blank.


“Down the back, a shock of ice.”






The story disturbed or aroused the myriad tracings.


“We can start from here, shift to the right.”











A doctor in a bungalow approached an inhabited room.


“A silver quarter hovers above a heart.”






The words transmuted from phone to phone dissolving in foreign air.













If one deconstructs “honeymoon,” one is lifted through multiple zones.


“The sun’s blinking its eye, dear”






You were a stranger to yourself but strangely more so to your story.


“First, and then second.”











She wanted instruction on how to proceed as water cut earth.


“Reflections disembowel.”






Who were you with fear is what she thought but was unaware of at the time.


“Action. Motion.”











When words are disconnected from action, time is distilled in what might fill one’s glass.







When the words are a film scrolling wide over a large body of water, the body stills.


“Hush my, my love.”




  • Jennifer Firestone is the author of five books of poetry and four chapbooks including Story, Ten, Gates & Fields, Swimming Pool, Flashes, Holiday, Waves, from Flashes and snapshot, and Fanimaly. She co-edited (with Dana Teen Lomax) Letters to Poets: Conversations about Poetics, Politics, and Community and is collaborating with Marcella Durand on Other Influences, a book about feminist avant-garde poetics. Firestone has work anthologized in Kindergarde: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, Songs, & Stories for Children and Building Is a Process / Light Is an Element: essays and excursions for Myung Mi Kim. Firestone is an Assistant Professor of Literary Studies at the New School’s Eugene Lang College and is also Director of the Academic Fellows pedagogy program.

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