width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Summer/Fall 2008


Lisa Zaran
featured poet


Unbridled, the human heart finds love
unbearable. Meticulous, the human mind
thinks itself into a prison of involuntary thought.
Time evaporates, bodies devalue.
The great human condition considers
both its weaknesses and its strengths,
disillusions encouraged by an unpleasant
inclination to find fault, to err, even
as happiness hovers, the world rocks
in its infinite cradle of impatience.
Joy soon retires.
As quickly as happiness transpires
limited in consideration,
as a whole is only a suggestion.
Nobody believes in misplaced warmth.
I should have listened to my fathers words:
among the birds and stars, we too, are lonely.

 2008 Lisa Zaran


According to existence, wisdom
of the ancients, or something God
said, insisting with his windy breath
among other entertainments,
the lonely will forever be lonely.
The inconsolable forever sad.
As I grow older I lose perspective.
And it's difficult now, so close
to the end of another decade
to laugh and remain glad.
Happiness has been avoiding
my companionship for years.
Here I am, illiterate in love.
Heartless, my ex once whispered
in my ear. At the end of the day
I sit in a blue vein of moonlight,
sipping cabernet, smoking,
studying stars, with an outsiders vision,
like they're gems I'll never own.
And what about dreams?
Belief is something even I am unsure of.
Seeking the cool, impassive stare
of the moon, which shifts just
that instant behind a cloud.
Days come and sink right through me.
Evening has its teeth alright, I have the scars
to prove it. Midnight is my only friend.
With it, I've almost stopped living.

 2008 Lisa Zaran

Love is Perhaps

Love is perhaps
a long field, drizzled with blossoms
a woman walks through in disarray
where someone she knows waits
and someone she used to know lies
face up to plant the sky with placating
looks like a gardener of lost dreams.
Love is perhaps
a tangled rope, knotted once around
common sense and twice around
the heart. The fetus whom lies supine
in her, bewildered as it rocks back
and forth to the rhythm of her footsteps
is a hero yet.
Love is perhaps
the burgandy of her sex, timber
of her soul. Should she frenzy
she has only to look up. The sky
goes on for days. The seer empties
his pockets, which takes months,
and the weather becomes beautiful
and the woman is reversed.
Love is perhaps
her feelings unworded in the history
of her unhappiness, the unfamiliar
pavement beneath her feet, the regulation
heartache she carries like a clenched fist
as if her loneliness were at the source of this
and yet, the hero in her dreams of breathing air.

 2008 Lisa Zaran


Proclaim nothing.
Come morning, the sun will light the world
and its anxieties.
The days' wanderings will shed their apparencies.
As always time is on the move.
Pursue nothing.
Even the greatest sum of importance thwarts its own inclinations.
Technicalities hover and happen like fluctuations.
Even that which is uncalculable, love for instance, has its limitations,
though magical and profound, can be reduced to a rational conversation.
Nothing more than a polite request.

 2008 Lisa Zaran


However dark or complicated, and quiet
however vacant her eyes
must seem, as if they've been swept
with rain
she doesn't want to remember
a glass window covered with frost.
However good she might be at changing
her answer from yes to no, which could mean
nothing or everything,
blind and discreet, as if she were a creature
of shame,
there she lies
with her unacceptable feelings, her objections
and her love-hate ideas about you,
color and charm, not sorry, among other things.
However cruel she can be when you tell her
you love her and she laughs while looking around
the room for something to cling to,

 2008 Lisa Zaran

For a Girl

My father taught me how to shoot a gun.
I aimed the barrel at the row of tin cans
and hit one out of five. Not bad, he said.
Not bad at all. For a girl.
My brother told me to direct the ridicule
at my flesh and not my heart
because flesh heals he said, the heart
mothers its inferiority forever
and plants her guilt.
My husband encircled my vulnerability
as if it were a rosebush, protecting
the sections under attack, relinquishing
those that were lost, without remorse.
I love you, he said, no matter what.
I am strong and astonished.
Contentedly suffused with knowledge.
I can run and throw and punch with purpose
whatever needs a good hit.
It's horrendous, my notion of femininity.
To have a mind, to have a heart. Imagine!

 2008 Lisa Zaran


So yes, its entirely possible
that if someone wants
to love us, of course
we should accept their love.
Whether it be a cinder block,
a wasp sting, a season of rain
that turns against us,
let it inhabit our naked space.
Let it live as an undergrowth,
beneath or between our absent branches,
so to speak.
We watch carefully but we don't
pay attention. Love seeks
but people move from here to there
If love arrives
perhaps as the limp flowers
of the hyacinth
should we think, for instance,
oh yes,
or will this only create more yardwork?
If love takes an inch
should we give a mile?
Will we suddenly transcend
beyond the weathered, man-thought material
of what love really is
or should be
or could be
if only
we could stop wanting
for something radiant
to happen?
Like sunlight on a still lake.
Bells jarring the afternoon.
Affection, more or less.
As fate would have it
I feel uneasy, conventional, middle-class.
I drift from star to star, wondering.
And so, what does a solo suburban woman do
besides station her dead love affairs
to points on the map,
disseminate at every coffee break
with whomever happens to be in the room?
Love hangs like a sorrowful moon
above my life.
Intrigue only happens on t.v.
Wealth blossoms in the soft hands
of the elite whose fingerprints only adhere
to dollar bills.
Lust always amazes me.
What feels like love, burns like love,
tastes like love, yet ends with an infold,
a tongue of cold air, a slow pass into nothingness.
And perhaps, beauty will someday recognize me.
Love will come waltzing in like a sing-along.
Money will grow on trees like apples in washington.
Rabbits will undublicate, pigs will fly, victory
will blossom. Surge into spring.
If only this sadness would stop rising from me
like smoke.

 2008 Lisa Zaran

Sweethearts on Parade

     It takes more than one to join the army of love.
                 ~M. Ward covering Louis Armstrong's Sweethearts on Parade~

Yes, you were right, the record turns until
it stops. Angels sing until God mournes them into air.
The small, discarded bones of our past loves
bury themselves inside stone,
despite their desire to live.
Despite their dreams, despite their diseased shadows
(how tragic!) which cling to the chest wall, beyond
the heart but still trapped inside the body.
It would be best to pretend we never existed.
It would be safe there, on the inside of thought.
A true balance if both of us could refuse the other,
ceaselessly deferred, your heart broken, mine
held in suspense. At night, the hand of my mind
slapping my weak heart's right cheek.
You were right about time.
It flies, to which memory salutes it.
To which the heart keeps beating a cascade of letting go.
Without presumption, I extend my goodbye far
like a thread of starlight on this red and tattered evening.
So be it darling. On with the parade. Please know,
I loved you with a true heart, unaware of the potential exposure
to distance, miscommunication, deafness.
You were wrong about us.
The idea that I would always be your honey,
waiting at home. Your better half. A nocturnal lake
to take a plunge in whenever insomnia struck. A profile
in the passenger seat of your life. You loved me too, I know,
with two hands and a succulent mouth. But sweetheart,
flesh is only the beginning.

 2008 Lisa Zaran

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