the poetry that matters

Wendy Lotterman

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.



Two Elsewheres


          In-let two,

Into one slippery southern mouth

Through roadside algal bloom

To glistened low-ball rollers

–There is an anthem for this–


For worse,

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






if anything,


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

                or theirs—

greater keychain rattle

shrinks a city’s grid


bedtimes hailed,

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


                meanwhile homeward

                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




Santa Susana


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.




About Face


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.




Courrier Fox


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




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                                                                                                       September 19, 2012