Monday, March 31, 2014

Elise Cowen

Elise Cowen [Ahsahta Press]

from Elise Cowen's Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments, ed. Tony Trigilio:

A cockroach

Crept into
My shoe
He liked that fragrant dark

A cockroach

Climbed into
My shoe
Away from cold & light
I crept my hand
After him


            The best I can do for you
            Is compare you to bronze
            And the Jews
            You're not really welcome
                       to use my shoe
            For a roadside rest


From the shadow of my hand
You keep coming back
            across my floor
For more? — look —

You've lost an antenna

I treat you
            seriously affectionately as a child


And not to forget

            the cockroach
that crawled across
the floor & painted
blue under the stove
somewhere in the [   ]
to God knows where


Keep out of the light

Out of the dangerous radiance of
Bong Eyes
Respect the cockroach centuries
And the heavy confection of plunder kitchen


Must I move to get away from killing you

And carry to Sutton Place in the back of my mind
            back to San Francisco ants
To get away from you?
I know —
            I'll starve a hungry cat
            And name it Darwin


            If I crawled into your crack in the wall
            Four clumsy appendages, too dumb to talk
            What would you & your dynasty do?
            Tickle me to death under your indifferent feet
            Teach me to be a makeshift cockroach
            Live off my flesh & use the bones for cockroach walls


I'm coming in


  1. Hi Carol--Thanks for posting Elise's poem! That's not her in the photo, though. The photo accompanied an HTML Giant article on her work, and the author of that article said she would take it down. I guess it hasn't been removed yet. I'm not sure who the person is in the photo. I'm really glad you posted her poem, though, and I hope the new book can help bring a new audience to her work. All best, Tony Trigilio

    1. Tony, Thanks. I took the photo w/bird down, replaced it with this one. Hope I have Elise this time. Love the book, thanks for all your work. /c