ditch,

the poetry that matters

Emily Sullivan Sanford

Emily Sullivan Sanford spent her formative years on Long Island and in Upstate New York. She now lives in Berlin where she works as an English teacher, writer, and translator.

Emily Sullivan Sanford's poetry has been published in Poetry Motel and Chantarelle’s Notebook. She is a contributing essayist to the book Surgically Shaping Children (2006, Johns Hopkins University Press).

 

STUFF 

“Why does art hate me?”
— Homer Simpson


Finding a skull in a rose,
a mouth in a machine,
a baby in the belly of a tree.

Poison or peace in the henna-licked hand,
chains like seaweed abandoned for show.
The photo had so much noise it stole the rest,
and capital letters began to tilt like swords.

Why a lion would lick a sleeping lady,
why hair always seems to comply,
and when it does not it is replaced
with a garden.

 

DANDELION


I.
You wore me out so much
I fell asleep in the bathtub.
 
 
II.
The pollen clouds warm me
and I breathe out cold,
trying to quiet the cusses across the room.

Stabbing each pretzel with my fork,
my hair curls backwards.

I tickle myself
where there are marks from the cord.


III.
The hill is shoulder-length,
a ripple paused by the blossoms
spat onto the grass, spitting out their teeth.

They squeeze themselves.

And get in the way.  My own.

The enamel is on the forehead,
the sun has been split.

Flax money is just for poise, poison and salads.

The hind leg is paying attention,
lets the cold of the sole.
Emily Sullivan Sanford

The wait is for the stalk.


IV.
Catastrophe in a can,
I decapitated them all.

Blond heads in the bottom,
wet with witch’s brew rain.
I prod with a stick.

Spongy heads when dead.


V.
I’m wearing the wrong opinions today.
We found the stalk.

We push it to the womb,
and walk around.


VI.
It didn’t bite me,
it clamped its jaws around
and got leather.


VII.
Soft spit, soft
The raggedy mane
Why so curvy? 

And my ribcage is ready to collapse with the shudders
  

GIFTBAR : POISONABLE


Goat Cheese And Firecrackers
I’m serious
filled-up, exotic, a gathering of the cultured
A culture of penicillin shot through?
To kill what was tasted
Basted by your brain and
my spine made of pine needles
They prickle across the bristle
Tongued like the leaf spots
dis-cussing art and architecture
the diminutive
Spit into their napkins
and big you smear yours
across my full cheek

Barbecue Chickadee
a good, clean mess of red sex
obsessed
I’m too dirty for a bath
I’m a tyke
with spicy finger paints
and pants
caught in the drain
plugged with the beak
chirp Beurk
posh
sexy cough

Mini-Brownie Batter Umbrella
sinful unlisted
in the brown Bible,
secret secretions
with salmonella
behind my back,
poisonable personality,
beaten
like golden arsenick,
from Zepernick
bullspit down my shirt,
bullshit on your spoon
 

ADDRESS BOOK


Fascione-Alcorn
Asaro
Baralle
Bauer
Bower
           
Cabuy
Campbell
                                                                                               
Cazamayou

Chetaille
Claudet
Dol     
Dopp
DuPont
Evans
Farrand
Giraud

Glaudel

Goldberg
Grucci
Gurnett

Haumann

Hedley
Hicks
Hossain

Huang
           
Isaza-Saucedo

Javier

Kase
Kim

Kobayashi

Komai

Lamb
Landry

Lemarchand
Locquet
Malot

Martinez

Merbaum
Murphy

Nakamura
Nauck

Palinski

Peyre (?)

Powell

Rühlmann
Ruíz

Sanford (see more)
Schwartz

Shamuratova

Shank
  
(see Bower) 
Spielmann
Steingraeber
Sullivan
Sullivan
Sullivan
Sullivan
Thompson

van Zuylen

Vier… eck… e

Watton
Wesner
Whitman

Winawer-Wetzel

Woods
Woods
Wyatt

Yamakura

Zang

Zarnetske
 

READING WEEKENDS

I have sand in my mouth and bowl,
with your tight roots and jealousy,
I swoop leaves in cape and capable.
Not till but to smile for language.
Duck abstractions like lips or stretching arcs.
Uck, sick, socks lost, one for two,
run arms off, ja tebja ljublju, too.*

* Uck better than ugh,
tschüss better than juice,
take your voice out.
 

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