Poetry — March 25, 2012 23:25 — 1 Comment

Two Poems – Kate Lebo


My vanity holds flowermetals and neckstones,
things softly pinned, a history

of gestures in the bathroom’s foggy glare.
With feather dusters I censured its dust.

There’s cherry gloss and eye smudge. The frosted
bare pink shimmer a MAC artist called

“gym makeup” as he tinted my lidskin to look
unworn. After mother’s Carmex

kiss at the bus stop I waited
until she drove away to wipe my cheek.

Noxzema’s noxious with its girl
ending, gaping ah. Feminine

ephemera and mirror shape:
mascara drops my jaw, opening

my eyes wing-wide. It’s not
agape they taught us–

this dove flies in the face
of plainness. I practice

surprise. I get the last
lash lashy.


Year of the Dog

The year no one died, the water table
was real wood real water and your father
let its liquid locomotor downhill.
The year the cat flattened your chest
into a chair and made you wear him
to work was the year tulips
learned manganese, took all
April to purple. Year of covalence,

of wrist splints and ergonomic keyboards.
Year you loved leaf rot, roadbloom, manured
green overshoe, found a slug in your muff
but don’t call it that. Year of mostly brown.
Year of the tiger, not your sign, just a quaint
superstition on placemats. Year of no ale,
wicker skin. Year that wouldn’t widdershin.
That year no one died, no one knew why.
The facts refused to render.
You clipped it like a recipe and followed
yourself to the letter.


Kate Lebo’s poems appear in Best New Poets 2011, Poetry Northwest, Bateau, and The Pacific Poetry Project, among other anthologies and journals. She’s an editor for Filter, a literary journal made entirely by hand, and the recipient of a Nelson Bentley Fellowship, a 4Culture grant, and a Soapstone residency. Currently an MFA candidate at the University of Washington, Kate hosts a semi-regular semi-secret pie social called Pie Stand whenever schoolwork allows. For more about Kate’s zine,A Commonplace Book of Pie, and other tasty treats, visit www.pie-scream.com.

One Comment

  1. Rob Thompson says:

    “I get the last lash lashy.” That’s good.

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney