Wendy Lotterman is from Dobbs Ferry, NY. Her poetry, translations, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Chronogram, Bard Papers, Sui Generis, Documents Paradoxaux, and Necessary Fiction. She has worked as an editorial assistant for Conjunctions and the PEN American Center.
Into one slippery southern mouth
Through roadside algal bloom
To glistened low-ball rollers
–There is an anthem for this–
The incurable home-sick boomerang
Is bigger than its subjects
Out-let, into elsewhere
Further split by high tides
Or atlantic swell
We are entering it, but not at once
It's not a matter of matter
To be there, here.
Relative stellar distance won't do,
Or the idea of coastal closeness
Here, suburban rubble drifts
With the beat of American dust
it’s what can’t sit still—
a rapidly aging carnival,
or, so I have made it
the age was big before it dawned
in my backyard
greater keychain rattle
shrinks a city’s grid
and by all accounts
the time was pleasant,
sung in sideways chambers,
through timeworn acrobatics
in those all those ordinary revolutions,
the dispassionate ricochet
outruns any aerial doubts
they lose the away games
in later years
when light spits out an integer
we lose the ornamentation of an equation
I would’ve liked to remain stumped
a gesture toward an absent limbo
my own limbs,
having lived through
other configurations, other empires,
can feel nostalgic,
—and they do—
last straws were played
by dander and timid disinterest
the confidence man brought bigger rounds
and now indifferent flatlands
fill an alpine shoe
but the stage was west
and walked by Morbihanders
somewhere in the corkboard
of a franco-drifter’s loved one
we remain more tropical
a migratory swoon
brought suitcases up to some mariner’s turf
—the hatchling in a mid-life stutter,
confusing every handshake for a genesis
never as yawning
as the yawns caught
and spit on screen
but even that was
like growing orchids in a Dixie cup
a die rolled and fell in the woods,
or so the etymology tells me
now the name comes back
in highway plaques and light-bulb sleeves
—a marquee for the late to bloom
the fall was now, but we forget it
the fall was just a gutter full of leaves
we dipped our foot in it
Too heavy to lift the machine—
by alliance or by these lines.
This heightened surveillance is only my ordinary sense of smell,
expanded, but we are all sniffing for others, and today I speak in plural,
for that is who I am possessed by.
The action is not overwhelming when we squint,
or when sidelines hug the footprint of an indifferent drifter.
Today I speak in plural, because today the temperatures have risen,
and tactility upstages geography.
Santa Susana hit the end of her wit.
These gusted toxins will spread the word, and California
will breathe it in.
Or rather, slip into oblivion. Or rather, time will slip me for me.
Today Neptune recoils;
soon it will begin to inch back inward.
Pulled down into a scene of our own
—uranium paints the walls.
Pulled down, and I am possessed by it.
Tonight I speak in plural because this scene is not my own.
Today I speak in Mondays, because in a dog year I might be dead,
because this radiation had good timing
—half lives inch into oblivion.
The long night spent in slack hours.
Pulled down into aerial views, into the space of this hour, and over our mouths.
I make an image which is a dam—it doesn’t hold.
Santa Susana spoke in plural because the nucleus is never one—
I do the same.
The universe is expanding as we do daily;
Pushed on by the incompletion of what goes before me. I begin, not knowing why we are cool.
Let us stay with what we know.
Standing face on great gloss plain
in strands, the face, in colored bands of elemental
stranded picture split in color and ended where
the great gloss plane begins
a yawn is split,
your face across a plane of transatlantic
yawn is caught and spit on screen
a transatlantic lag is you, about your face
in three seconds, split in picture element
plane’s distance stands in minutes miles split to three
and lagged three seconds split across colored
strands that move a moment’s lag after
your face. About
your face, in the picture split in three,
space winnowed origin, where left is right
time slotted so your now is all at once
and second-handed facing wherewithal:
your face, is about an other
that entered where yours split into
derivative strips of you in elemental
space where one is not but stripped of
whole to be for the other, distanced by plane
a band of stripes three colors and
three seconds lagged from the face
you are really about.
In all fidelity to daylight
Graded teeter from leafy meantime
Citrus foregrounds a shrine that is a playground
Lit by lantern’s parchment slap on pebbled letters
From others—a meeting on sunday, a white tipped tail
Foxy inlay, yellow-tagged importance
He sips the tea, but what
if we're not checking