I ate lambsquarters in the wilderness, the entire world
hilarious & darling, yet troubled.
By early-rising sharks
search-lighting the shores for something to cut. & still
the white mustard.
drank from a paper cup (like the picture
said!!). It wasn’t from the bottle but maybe the well
of the worlds, where everyone
respected the beauty of a somnambulant nod, junk
& milk for nourishment.
Romanesque cauliflower as sculpture.
Neither rupture nor acupuncture. Instead an architecture
of spiraled swear-cases & robbing banks.
turned other pages. Annie
with Janis & a daft milkmaid in shades. They drank
vodka not wine
until it was time
to start looting towns & monasteries, their personal shorelines
syrupy lovefest. Nor a neural network upturning
proposed theories of everything or existential-like nothing-
ness, but a notion
of wherever-else-somehow. Them kids own
blasphemous deification of salt on crackers.
There were no more friend requests nor people so old
it took them 3 tries
to flip the meat in the pot; the sauce
near-perfect, the onions not.
All that is dear to me & everyone
I stopped to listen a moment more
to a music of unknown
source. In a public space with big windows, not
no one’s house or hovel, & then
was thrown out. Maybe
it was the way my head was
tilted, or my eyes
looked up, or the wrong time
to terminate locomotion — simply stopping
not done in that place/time, like an all-movement mandate
for those on their feet. But how
does one recognize these trivialities & their repercussions?
Or believe in them?
Behaviors passed from custom to law.
Are there classes for this? I mean
a lotta junk passes for education, so who’d be
But with everything you’ve loved
or done, detested
or ruined, on its particular trip through whatever
joy or terror
toward an unspecified doom – seems just
another stupid congestion devouring us;
a lust almost
for worrisome compliance & consumption. The fat
cut from the carcass left there
to rot; the human savor — glistening cheeks ripe & seeking
Drifting like a footnote cut-off
from the source;
no longer the subject being named, nor the object
of someone else’s discourse.
Merely a reference probably added to counterbalance
the main point, an alternative
of dubious consequence just obscure enough
to support the prime directive — that we’re alive — & call it
into doubt as well.
Probably standing at this time
on a wall
feeling blandly liberated. No deep passion or sudden rush
of enlightenment, just momentarily
free. Not uncaring,
but pleasantly unmindful, released
from the obligations
of doing it right. Imperfection everywhere, despite
among the bodhisattvas or the newly awakened ants
hustling across the open New Yorker
on the kitchen table,
near those windows so bright. Glad also
to be a footnote at the bottom of the page, not difficult
rather than an endnote sequestered
at chapter’s conclusion or near the document’s last pages. Due respect
to scholarly mannerisms,
but much prefer a wild chat with Anna or someone
like her. That roof
was never flat anyway & the ground
never seemed so close.
Karen Fabiane‘s poems have been published in small press journals since 1975, including 2, Bound, CAPS 2020, Coal, Delaware County Times, Downtown, Greenkill Gallery Broadsheet, Heroin Love Songs, Home Planet News, MisFit, Momoware, New Voices, Newsletter Inago, OM, Poetry Motel, RagShock, Salonika, Title I, Torture House USA, and five different anthologies released by Bright Hill Press, which also published her first book, Dancing Bears, in 2011. A second book, Seeing You Again (Grey Book Press), followed in 2014, and a third, Between Canal & Ida in 2022. Her paintings have been exhibited in Seattle, New York City, Washington, DC, and the Capital District of New York (Albany environs) since 1978.