- Featured, Poetry, Reading, Writing

Two Poems, by Tom La Farge


Daria’s Tongue

now draw a triangle—

Dear Palynologist—strands of my hair have snagged in the northern stand of bamboo—

a crime is just as fractal as weather—

Dear Detectives—see me as I last was seen, watching the sunrise—

fibers from my white dress are caught here and there about the garden, on the peonies and the apricot trees—

you must pay attention to everything!—

note that my red high-heels disappear at the balcony’s edge—

don’t simplify what is complex!—

Dear Serologist—shreds of my skin are decomposing in the muddy elephant tracks at Madurai—

my blood rains across the paintings of heroes that girdle the temple’s heart—

a kidney-shaped gleam on the ground before the goddess’s statue mingles my saliva, my mucus, my urine—

there is so much to take in, if you won’t see, don’t look!

Dear Dactylographer—my distinctive whorls mark every metal fastening, every knob, every surface in the room that did not succumb to fire—

like fingerprints, a diagram has to be able to breathe—if it can’t breathe, it can’t remember—

a poem is the memory of a breath—


The Questions

Does radiant, unconditional speech constitute arson?

Is there a blood test for toxic language?

In bad weather, is a voiceprint more reliable than identification by style?

What time of day is best for collecting the trace evidence of poetry?

How can you tell a simplification from the warm syntax of bones?

In what season are words most likely to turn into red hot animals?

Does a lament more resemble a sea-turtle or a phoenix?

If the spleen suffers an assault, what book can cure it?

To read a suicide’s love poems, should one face north or south?


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