Shall I strike the note of discord? Late, or soon?

Did she liken my teaching to stripping?

Suppose I won’t “stay present”?

Which world was I saving, anyway?

In the wild? In the cage?

We’ll need some soil, do they carry that at Target?

Did they quarrel about Rojava?

Must I strip for their machines?

Were you trying to fix reality with thoughts?

Could I work faithfully with sorrow?

Was there plenty of time to do some dastardly things?

Whole oceans on the ropes–what repose?

How far had I been stripped by the healing arts?

Had the Bible returned to the palace?

Were scans my sentinels? My chaperones?

Did it feel like a giant backhoe was eradicating time?

Did masses think the hegemon was dope?

Of what moment this clamor of rescue?

And how could you tell if some pavement-bedded life form

was sleeping or overdosing?

Might losses, heaps on heaps,

resemble a mountain of buffalo skulls?

Would species-being carol, yo, we’re toast?

Could the sharp stars ever shine

so coldly in the void again?

Does the strip-mined animal long for home?

Do you feel all the feelings?

Or just get it done?

What container will hold my darkness

and the darkness of everyone?


“Your presence has always been a calamity”: “Your presence has always been a calamity for this region, and the farther you go from our region and our nations, the more security would come for our region.”–Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking at a rally on 9/22/19

“Had the Bible returned to the palace?”: “Upon assuming office, [Jeanine Añez] declared that “La Biblia vuelve al palacio” (the Bible has returned to the presidential palace), bearing an oversized scripture to re-enforce the point. The New York Times notes that she has made her speeches ‘shadowed by an aide bearing a cross.’”–Jacob Sugarman, Truthdig, Nov. 19, 2019

“plenty of time to do some dastardly things”: “Donald Trump says he has ‘plenty of time to do some dastardly things” to Iran, but rules out a nuclear launch after Mike Pompeo calls attacks on Saudi oil facilities an ‘act of war’”–headline, The Daily Mail, 9/18/19

Jan Clausen’s most recent poetry title, her sixth, is the experimental volume Veiled Spill: A Sequence (GenPop Books), of which Juliana Spahr said: “Clausen writes of complicated vulnerability and feminist resistance…with such a deep love, with such a lyric invocation.” Poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as AGNI, Bloom, Drunken Boat, Fence, Hanging Loose, Kenyon Review, Nimrod, Ploughshares, Poems from the Women’s Movement, Poetry Northwest, and Triquarterly. The recipient of fellowships from the NEA and NYFA, Clausen has published several volumes of fiction and Seven Stories Press recently reissued her 1999 memoir Apples and Oranges: My Journey through Sexual Identity. She has taught in the Goddard College MFA in Writing Program and at the New School, and currently teaches at NYU.

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