the poetry that matters

Marcia Arrieta

Marcia Arrieta lives in Pasadena, CA where she is a mother, educator, poet/artist. Her work has appeared in Otoliths, Blueprint Review, Dusie, Poetry Salzburg Review, MiPoesias, Argotistonline, and others. She edits and publishes Indefinite Space, a poetry journal.

when everything equals zero

(abstract the art & the eyes & the moon)

Step 1

Start with the more complicated side of the identity
and transform it into the simpler side.

is the bridge an illusion?

maps scatter in sky

Step 2

Try using basic or other known identities.

create small drawings

remember the sea

Step 5

At each step, keep the other side of the identity in mind.
This often reveals what you should do in order to get there.

eliminate steps

measure the distance between sun & shadows & stars



upon finding an old book—
rudiments of natural philosophy & astronomy    (1852)

magnetism.  optics.  doctrine of the sphere.

a few rays of light.  great circles.  small circles.


as the african native forest.  mysterious.

cool air.  secret.


the transit instrument.  the astronomical clock.

“the time occupied in one complete revolution of the earth, (which is
indicated by the interval occupied by a star from the meridian round
to the meridian again,) is called a sidereal  day.”


throw a stone upon the smooth surface of the river.   assume many identities.


time is—

indigo.  reflection.  veils & silhouettes.
observation necessary.  close/hermetic.
the promise of happiness.  the incantation
of hope.  interior walls made manifest.

sleep.  interludes of capricious.  light.  sleds.
what do the starfish and the raven have in common?
set the timer for three minutes.  maybe five.
the erasers never work.  dust.  sweep.

examine intellectually emotional.  i am surrounded by mannequins.
equate distance with fear or maybe clouds.  disappear
into quantum solace.  indirect light.
abstraction. a new moon or maybe a green thread.

read about breton, jeffers, the dali lama.
redemption. expanded.  revised.
two pebbles on a wooden desk.
the summit.  the abyss.  wander in ephemeral.


murmurs & flight


there are murmurs & there is flight.
study the flight patterns.
complex.  provocative.
look for clues.


there is blue paint everywhere—
on my glasses.  on my pencil.
on my japanese print jacket. in my hair.
on my lips.


today i will clean the fish & turtle’s bowl—
clean water over rocks.  contained water.
& i will remember my view to the sea &
the drawings in sand.


there is so much to organize.


(before the revelation)

life is an equation
or fill in the blanks

vague plus distant
fractionalize philosophy

myths protect us
allow us to imagine

we are thoughtful shadows
addition minus zero

the spaces are a dimension
even the trees envy


we organize & list
the pencils have erasers

there is never enough paper
always enough tape

we sigh & lock doors
create walls

the owl reminds us to feel
yellow & blue merge

small drawings permeate our heads
the curve is the triangle is the sail

we hide between clouds
the birds find us


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