THREE POEMS
michael snediker

ECLOGUE: THE OLSEN TWINS

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen
wouldn’t believe in fairies if they stepped on one.

They have.

Nonetheless:

we admire their swain chemises
& frosty eye shadow.

Nars Bysance: iridescent iris. We pestle
chelcid & thrips
for similar effect.

Furthermore:

we do not judge Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen
for being oblivious. We sip oolong

from their champagne-lacquer
nail clippings,

worldly
by anyone’s standard.

Also:

We do not believe
in Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen.

Not the first time
we’ve emulated & reserved judgment

against persons implausible.

ECLOGUE: WHERE WERE WE

I don’t mean talking,

streets,
where were we;

they all look the same.

Ask that guy in the sawdust pants,

say we’re lost,
which is like lust in a fancy accent.

Say we’re looking
for a lighthouse.

Everyone says: look at the lighthouse.

Well
there’s nothing like that here.

We’re lost, & likely my doing,

there only once
having been a city where every wander

wound back to the same old square.

Here seems different.

Colorless cities named Beryl
& Vermillion.

Time for tricks, Booger,
this being Sugarbottom.

Let’s rummage through our finchwing clutches.

Something
(fern leaf tansy, fur of lemming)

to get us out of this one,
too.

LOOK! I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW!
         —from a Jehovah’s Witness pamphlet

Peach-legged egrets the size of cattle are swooping
from the pine-needles without warning! And farther off,
flamingos! And a boy mid-somersault! And giraffes racing
knock-kneed to the river!

Even Abuelita has found a bunny that fidgets
on her shoulder, unbraids with its rice teeth her looping pigtails.
And Abuelita’s mother has gotten her hands on
some lemonade—a whole pitcher!—and it is attracting
people they have never seen.

A Danish man in a red sweater adds plums
to a fruit basket already brimming. And a Japanese woman—
nobody knows where she came from, but she loves the lemonade!
They all do! They are drinking glass after clinking glass until
the nearby waterfall makes them need to pee.

But oh for a taste of that drink, of the fruit in that basket!
Plums, apples, you name it—what joy! What unity! When the lion,
nuzzled by the frisky lamb, glares ferociously, he is ferocious
with love!

 

Michael Snediker is Assistant Professor of English at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. His poems have appeared in journals including Black Warrior Review, Court Green, crazyhorse, cream city review, and Pleiades. His poetry manuscripts have been finalists or semifinalists for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, Alice James Press, and Pleiades Press. His book, Queer Optimism, is forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press. He was the Fall 2006 James Merrill Writer-in-Residence.