Celia Bland

I have a collection of poetry published by CavanKerry Press called Soft Box; and profile of Jean Valentine upcoming in Poets & Writers. I have poems coming out or out in Shenandoah, Borderlands Review, Natural Bridge, Heliotrope, The Alembic, and Prima Matera, and other small magazines. I teach poetry at Bard College.




They die with me inside.

On Curly Corners Road, one did that
and I hailed down a Cadillac – two
afro-ed-like-marigolds men
who didn’t say boo.
“Let’s just keep going,”
I whispered
as they gave me a ride
into town.

But I broke down again.
This one here won’t start
with a key.
I stick a screwdriver
into it’s compressor.
That one needs its
clutch popped
so sweet; and that other
catches when two
red wires cross,
when a ballpoint
is stuck so that air
seeps a valve, or either
I got to push,
fingers splayed over the plugs
and coax,
“Come on baby!”

I nurse with pats of gas, gentle
downshifts, but all the time
I keep
sputtering out:
sad clicks
harsh metallic gasps.



I. Mathematics

7 was the woman dangerous to 6, even
cannibalistic. She would flatten
his belly into her own brainy linearity.
Only 8, mild-mannered, proportionate
top to bottom, could computer a peace
between them. 7 fell forward
along the number line, searching
with tentacular desire;
odd, odd.

I write her now with a bar across
her middle – a collar, a table
where she sits with a latte
watching lovers on their cell phones:
flat top 5, receptacle 4, and 9,
a sexy Sagittarius.