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Goodbye 4

Weekday myth, taken in the strictest sense,
wants to be found out. Not stay nearby, but like
the soul &/or its equivalent for
modern times be remembered with boots on,
or as whatever it meant to be in afternoon light.

Suppose in place of that, we gave into public opinion,
that linear grave called/of “well authenticated dreams.”
It is not that we are opposite, you & I are head & ass
of the same idea. But somehow sparked with rivalry,
struck in a different direction, territory & chance entombed.

If I die in silver city, will you send my body back to school
for a rational chance to see consequence as
the coast is clear & give the opportunity
to redraw where I should have
invented difference.

It’s not supposed to end this way:
me as a fortnight or you a simple failure
of the heart, both victims of passive tense.
Imagine the rotation around a less
self-centered star, would you still

feel naturalistic about it? Keep certain hardscrabble beliefs,
or be of the same cloth or thatch of beams that
stays stern enough to hold back the new
19th century. It is only to my surprise then,
that you are not the board on which I stand.

Courage display, I am my image on
the wrong side of folly. Enough of me
theatre, I’m not able to
decipher original scandal from
myself later suspended in starlight.

Can I be bold enough to be the
someone leaving, noise gone to sound & I
am no longer there? I should not have thought
I liked it, the I of me, the I of Me only,
the I who am alone, alive.




Goodbye 8

Dear life, w/bags of grain for Johnny’s chickens,
X has screen grabbed his gradient lyre.

Hidden be in lamps
&/or living next door.
Not outdoors--we are not people that don’t speak our not language.
       When you say, “a rivery field” mean:
“marble tabletop” or “halfway from healed” or
“how later had stolen me also.”

Say, “Hey armchair astronomers
    flicker in the pebbles
    that used to be great stars”
    but mean, “I am stymied, me, also.”

Not in lantern’s capture. Ourselves not feeling at home.
Not, perhaps, our ancient city, not it’s civil instrument
bloated in a river.

Not our cheeks on the ground not telling its temperature.
Not our prophetic birds, because they have not been gone for so long.




Goodbye 15

“I am dying” I said, “I’m
dead” I say. Were you to come
across me it would be a huge let down.
With only lined up gestures between us, up
where they flirt with subject.

But to us pattern men, heartbeat meant
you should’ve recognized more than the subject & its potentate
& meant others should recognize,
want back also,
that fighting spirit.

Want what letters listen for in our actions
that could’ve meant or misread compassion
& what do they love in it?
The I of it?
The I of him?

Dead in the living room, gathered about before geography,
How was it there? Upon my honor,
even 100 years passed, we each our own man-- but still one night’s
ride away, you resemble or you are kin to
a matchmaker sweetness, but more loveable.

Dear son, treat us like an old lady, but still fond of the
comings & goings-- each a hymnodist of the other,
the life of instant or rather a paradise,
but also of instant. Or rather
instant metamorphosed

into someone you would like
to call, or whose voice you would
like to hear. ‘Tis a wonder
we express so much--it ought not to baffle to find
the dead “out of action,”

even as they rally to you &
fill every topographical corner.
The I of it, O my soul!
Or that his is a hallowed relic
that should be hid, but what hast thou

or they or ourselves need
of these bones? But heartbeat meant
we are kin to battle, or at least
uniquely piled stones, or just a local boy,
but still someone to weep for or beg to stay home.



Emily Liebowitz

Emily Liebowitz is the author of the book National Park (Gramma Poetry, 2018) and the chapbook In Any Map (The Song Cave, 2015.) Her writing has appeared in The Believer, Pen Poetry Series, The Iowa Review, jubilat, Lana Turner and various other magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she freelances in writing and arts communications. She co-edits LVNG Magazine and serves on the board of the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP).


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2018

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