by Mark Yakich

You're Neither Harriet Nor Harry

The piano burning in the foreground blows
you away, as it were or you'd like it. The last in
a series of drinks and a conversion
to sidecars. You didn't last, but you gave
pleasure. The trouble with smashing our pigeon-
hole is that the hole does lend itself
to do certain things. There's knowledge
in the slots, like there's knowledge in sonnets.
What anyone who struggles against, that saws are
dangerous and then so still. When
you introduce the Virgin Mary, as when you
add another leg to the three-legged milking stool,
someone's gonna get upset, get off. Six new relaties
(Dutch) taken from this addition of
another leg, but the triangle is still there,
in the breeze burning. When you rise,
you do what you do when you fall. You don't
wait for the show to end; you've
already gotten your obsession to work from.

I Was a Monocle in the Army of Glass

The blind girl played hopscotch alone,
landing outside the boxes of
the chalked numbers. A deaf boy
sifted through his crayons, searching for Flesh
and Green-Blue. Just under the surface
of the iciest glacier lay Chroococcidiopsis,
the world's toughest inhabitant,
the microbe that lives within translucent stone,
that can freeze and re-thaw easily,
like a decent hair jelly, for a billion years.
A person with everything stopped
taking notes in the library as red-ribbed
horny birds fell from the sky. "Swell.
Look at the lilies in the goddamn field
then. You didn't want a baby."
There. Spat. Done. "Can we start over?"
she asked. For a sense of fulfillment
in the first three cascading turn-on lines, look
for farewell-liaison. "Don't, don't,
don't!" might be what's bred in the bone,
her only line. What anyone brushes against
the last lapse of nerve which I am
already sorry for. We simply go on.
I don't remember the particulars. Girl
at the window. Girl on the window. Girl
out the window. Girl below the window.

A Feminine Ending

The body of work had such a limerick kind of beauty,
a way of making friendship satisfactory.
One time, with a piece of seaweed that the body
of work had worn as a cummerbund to the prom,
I saw it walking in Central Park with five dogs
on leashes. I knew my sister would have been envious,
amid all of autumn's leaves, so
I didn't bother to say "Hi there, deary."
After dinner, I mostly lay in my bed, like Gogol,
and wrote about the body of work. Expressive,
like the dirt-filled fingernails of my sailor's
wave, I soon grew breasts, sores on my belly.
I needed to cathect my childhood urges
on a new object. But before I had
chance to find a new body of work,
I had some chores to do. In the stable,
I fell through a crack and a horse
sneezed back at me, "Stay in Hollywood a little longer,
Madam Schwitters, you'll be able to act soon.
I mean, look at me, I've not gotten close
enough to find out whether the war
in Europe and those cute little tin can finger
sandwiches can sustain life. Besides, Lady
Godiva ate her horse, which wasn't made of
white chocolate and, I'll have you know,
she didn't even have to chase it."

Mark Yakich writes poems and paints pictures. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Another Chicago Magazine, DIAGRAM, Indiana Review, and Spinning Jenny. You can find out more about Mark, his last name, and a Moroccan chicken recipe at this link here.