width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses


Lisa Zaran
featured poet

After Hours

I drank midnight
in three long gulps.  Darkness. Cold. 
Moon and stars.
I have always been international like this.

Me against everybody else.
At work I go only so far as to uphold
my job.  At home I go too far,
making disreputable statements
to my mirrored reflection,
putting the barrel end of a wine bottle
to my lips and pulling
an imaginary trigger.

Used to be the spirit of the times
to be out of touch with the latest revolution, 
now we are required to wake to reality.
Vote.  Campaign for or against our brother.

It is late or early,
depending on how you look at it.
I'm tossed, tipsy on my feet.
My tongue is an incomprehensible
carpet of words I cannot untangle.
The moon is glowing in my belly.
The stars are beginning to fume.
When sleep finally comes
it comes heavy.

 2007 Lisa Zaran

Where Does Your Love Go When You're Dead?

i predict a diversion,
something i can manage without
falling apart.

an older gentleman
once told me i was bonefully
attractive, like something weighty.

i tried to strangle the thought
once he said it but i could
feel how heavy my footsteps fell
upon the pavement

and knew the man was blind.
a person is beautiful
only when taken as they are,
a gust of warm air or a fleeting
shadow and not as an animal
full of flesh and facial expression.

for a second this idea strikes me
as dazzling.  to love a person
for their essence just as love itself
is an essence and the essence
of each must really be the truest
narrative and not

boneful or boneless
nor among the present or with
the past or in the future which
many think is appealing, 
they are the first to propound the past.

no, i mean it.
perhaps beauty and love
are akin to spiritual conditions
and though my father is dead
this doesn't mean his love died with him.

 2007 Lisa Zaran

Poem With Lines from Rilke's Elegies

Look, we don't love like flowers
with only one season behind us;  when we love,
a sap older than memory rises in our arms.
               ~Rilke, The Third Elegy from Duino Elegies

Now again for the first time
the sun comes back lighting
the high madness of my mind,
dreams circulate in anger than
dissipate through the hole in my head,
leaping, still dizzy from just having died.

I dream I am returning
into godlike bodies.
There is something quite contradictory here, 
I am lying awake in the morning 
yet the scale of stars still shine in my room,
the air still rests in silence as the birds 
drive their songs through what little remains of night.

I believe in the capacity 
to reinact each morning the same routine, 
the rising out of bed 
into the world from which no person 
is pure or full of heart or worthy enough to be perfect.

The pain of which, life love and the slaughter of oblivion permeates.

But because being here means so much,
because of shared feelings and the potentials of love 
I rise each morning onto a stage of human enthusiasm
where I might encounter indifference and difficulty 
but also where I might discover some state of moral
understanding some spiritual beauty in the words of a poet 
some kinship in the sound of music as it lends 
a flourish to the air or love as it purely determines 
its own shape to my heart, my heart 
will either swell or break.

 2007 Lisa Zaran


Exhausted, despairing.

There are times when one cannot speak
of love.

There are hearts quieter than the dead.

There are various kinds of love. 
Some libido.  Some a refreshment of libido, desire.

Spiritual love, a loveness of being, ignorant of pleasure,
indeed when the soul makes a soft sigh of attraction, 
it would be futile to translate as sexual pleasure.

Thus, millions suffer.

Love overlooked.  Ach.  Imagine the leaving!
Forgetful love, mouth open, mind shut.
And we, how we all stand at attention, waiting.

Right from the beginning I've been afraid of love.
Somehow, those in love seem mentally ill.
So expressive.  Overly grateful.  Deeply gleefully, maniacal.

Dismissive love.  Almost an exaggerated compliment at the beginning.
A total cowardice at the end.

Love prepared by the guardian angel of intuition.
A love consumed with passion and passions fiery resolution.

Who is he that has experienced this?
I want to meet him.  I want to learn his way.

I cannot speak of love.  I'm too despondent.
My sensual age has come and gone unnoticed.
As Sappho once said, my tongue is broken.

 2007 Lisa Zaran


We didn't complain
We hitchhiked anywhere too far to walk
We asked for change in parking lots from wary strangers 
We could never trust, bound by stars, the midnight duo We
drank southern comfort and hid in the park on top of the neon yellow fort 
We were ambiguous about talking to other kids 
We only knew as another face in the crowd at school 
We held onto the lovely assurance that our bodies were young and our minds were bright 
We crunched through the gravel along highway 87 feeling everything was ours for the taking 
We left nothing untouched except our mothers hearts, our fathers advice 
We demonstrated a penchant for being emotionless though 
We both knew our feelings were tuned to the same string 
We wore our pants tight and our hair long, rings of clove smoke rose from our mouths 
We were never sorry never on time 
We never believed in anyone or anything except ourselves even when 
We clutched at straws We knew a miracle could happen at any time.

 2007 Lisa Zaran

When it Happened

It could be a little rectangle of sunlight 
sitting on the windowsill at dawn 
preserved for as long as the earth
sits still and for what reason 
but for any number of reasons 
it could be a wren in the branches 
turning its head toward the shadow 
of light at the woman who sits 
slumped in a chair, dead.

It could be the inner coherence of nature 
when a breeze kicks over 
knocking the screen door open then shut 
or the instinct of a neighbor who stops by 
for coffee and a cigarette it could be 
the soul's animosity that complicates
the balance of things, loosening the breeze, 
throwing the curtain open, creating consequences.
It could be terror announcing itself.  
It could be anything.

There is no way of knowing.

 2007 Lisa Zaran

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