Poetry by stephanie roberts

CIRCLE EARTH: MEDITATION AFTER READING TROPIC OF CANCER

the loose-toothed man
with a ming-blue eye visible
behind shades with one lens
pedals a tricycle burdened
with bottles and dry coke cans

you imagine henry valentine’s
face sagging like a man’s shoe
under bald head with his wit for words
mutter look at all them cunts
you mutter back indeed
like the coward you are

you mean hero
hero of the uncommitted
your weak knees are hereditary
you test a little jump of gratitude
for the heights you can still attain
never one who fails to quit while behind

when the tricyclist passes the fourth time
you are firmly irritated; is he waiting for you
to put down this can of cream soda?
a girl whizzes by atop a gold two wheeler
her serious face a polished piano
her black sphere of hair clears a sun path
she is being perfectly

her beauty berates cynicism forty-nine times
with an ax
she is effortlessly holding up the universe.

#

PURE DICTATION: THIS IS HOW MY DREAMS HAVE FLOWN MOST OF MY LIFE BUT TONIGHT IT ALL MAKES SENSE

i’m wary of

————————–what i’m told

resisting labels—especially

ones people sell

————————–about themselves

on a midnight barstool

toast quickly to the hunger

 ————————-moon of truth

superposition superman market

size—whimsical words for

 ————————-much

the older you get.———-the more

you’re inured to the absurd

i agree (trying not to)——-roll my eyes

that resignation is virtue

————————-(fuck marcus aurelius)

you pray how you feel —–doesn’t matter

without ceasing

anarchy charges

————————-your despair

the swampland of  soul

where a floodplain of

————————-outside dreams

six feet under the

high water mark glistens

people say you can’t

read in dreams————-a myth

i’m taking pure dictation

reading these words there

 —————————now.

#

LOOK AT THE TIME

where is my shoe?
leave money for the milkman
good things come in threes
you never really loved
a fucking person in your life
never surrendered to the position
of bent.

jesus christ forgive;
i wasn’t going to present that;
i was going to be civil
—organizing my indifference;
kid gloving this (you know how
you say) slitting of throat.

show don’t tell is the epigram
of christ’s memoirs
(but good lord, my broke heart).
overdrawn & over-drawn (seething
truth-be-told) in turns
one long numb (spread eagle
to the corners).

tender resolution—smote,
choking on cynicism’s off-gas.
smoke, our deferred hope
of present adoration.
where’s my missing shoe
my panties
my head
the complete of my wasted?

blue whales with their stink breach
and overabundant being
have mastered
azure solitudes
without shock and suffer
without eating an ounce of betrayal
without without.

blue whales are not called that
because of depression!
spiros giannopoulos
was not called, killer whale,
because he was black and white.
it was his love of penguin meat
and that time he drowned his trainer.

my heart floats over the warning sails
of sharks
trying to find my most bent
expression.


This year, stephanie roberts has work that appears or will appear in Reunion: The Dallas Review, Shooter Literary Magazine (UK), Room Magazine (Canada), Burning House Press, The Inflectionist Review, The Arsonist Magazine, Waxing and Waning, and Nanotext an anthology published by Medusas’s Laugh Press (as a finalist in their contest). In 2016, her work was featured in The New Quarterly, Blue Lyra Review, Contemporary Verse 2, and Breakwater Review; she was a top ten finalist in Causeway Lit’s fall poetry contest. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, she counts her strengths as passionate curiosity and good humor. http://www.oceansandfire.com

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