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Nov 2011 · 626
The First Week
Jess Rose Nov 2011
At first there was only dark
And floors
There were missing light bulbs
And painted light switches
There was a flaking bathtub
There was nowhere to sit
At first there were only leaves on the porch
And dust on the windows.
There were missing drawers
There was only this and more

And then there were some plants
        In plastic pots
And a sun through open shutters
And finches and cats in the alley
There were rag rugs
And polished bits of trees
And two fish swam lazy in their bowls
And then
     There was me
Or someone very much like me

And it was good
Apr 2011 · 475
Spring Again
Jess Rose Apr 2011
I know it is
Spring again
When my
****** in
Pushed out
Over again
And gentle
Of the city
Are louder
And then
Pushed out
****** In
Nov 2010 · 659
Waking Up Tomorrow
Jess Rose Nov 2010
Tonight I am writing a poem about waking up tomorrow
To see if my car had been re-ticketed for expired plates
To see if the traffic will, like the weather,
Be unusually temperate for this time of year
To see if there is broken glass in the parking lot
Spray paint tags on our shop door

Tonight I am writing a poem about waking up tomorrow
To see if the leaves are falling
If the sky is still, like the people
Hanging onto fall
To see the skyline, the cloud front over the water

I am writing a poem tonight
So that I can wake up tomorrow
And remember to remember
To love it all
Nov 2010 · 692
Today I Will Not
Jess Rose Nov 2010
Today I will not
Build any furniture
I will not paint any murals
I will not lathe wet wood
Or pound out steel
I will not sand or glue or clamp
Or sew or surge or hand tuft

I will not see a show tonight
I will not go to a museum
I will not even read
But I will
Will myself
To write these things
I will not do
Jun 2010 · 824
Jess Rose Jun 2010
I was born to the month of the
Roaring lamb, or the woolen lion
Depending on which way you turned your head
3:42 p.m.
Like somehow that time, my placement
On the clock face
Was the most notable bookmark
I do not know how the weather was
Behaving, raining or snowing
Depending on the mood
But I know the weak March sun was shinning
In on my labored mother
Past the slight warmth of noon
Before the obtuse chill of dusk
I came into the world balanced on that sun
Pale spring
Aged winter
The lion to my left
The lamb to my right
Because I came head first

The day I was born
I landed on top of the water
And was captured in the tension there
Between two things
Balanced on my sun
Marching forward
Jess Rose May 2010
The pounding of the drum
was sheets of white paper
Each clap falling to the floor
Settling slowly
Like geese alight to water
We were there for this landing
Nosily, gracefully
The geese were

The drumming of the drum
Was a shell around us all
And we all spiraled in
Till the casements of the
windows shook
Till throughout the basement
And up the stairs
Was the sound
Lifted up again
Like the geese
And the paper pushers
And the polished



Jess Rose May 2010
I’ve seen colors melt, colors mold over, colors who stick to the sides of
Other colors
I’ve seen colors which soak to the quick of wood and skin, ones that spill over
Or dry like deserts
I’ve seen colors that congeal like the living, I’ve seen the same ones mixed to death
I’ve seen colors pool, colors rust and colors boil

I’ve seen colors that don’t read maps
Colors that overrun, overturn, overlove their neighbors
And ones that play well in sand
I’ve seen colors that drink cocktails, drink water, drink blood
Colors that get bored, colors that get sexed
I’ve seen colors ripped from the earth
Seen them ghost to other places

I’ve seen colors give up, every time, waiting for air, for shelter,
For Godot
I’ve seen colors grow cold like science
Grow loud like a flag unfurling
Grow up, move out, move on
I’ve seen colors stuck in between things
These same colors fill empty spaces
Fill vision, fill cups of coffee
I’ve seen colors tell white lies
They aren’t white
They are happy

And they aren’t here for us
Apr 2010 · 2.0k
A Metaphor About Atoms
Jess Rose Apr 2010
I would like to imagine that you and I are each a nucleus
And somewhere else, miles away
The rest of us is spinning
On some course with unimaginable science and math
And that somewhere, miles from both of us
Those flying terrifying parts found each other
And held hands
And together we made something more complex
That involved diagrams with little lines and letters

I would again like to imagine
That I am sitting in my center
Miles from that chaos
And that I can’t feel the rest of me, spinning
And complex
That I can’t feel that part of you that is attached to me
And I can’t feel when that bond breaks
And again we are something less then we used to be

Yes, I would like to imagine that.
Apr 2010 · 748
Jess Rose Apr 2010
There was the refinery in the ice desert of Wyoming
Past the mountains, at 3 in the morning
Lit up in the night like it was in love
And so was I

There were the oil rigs lined up in rows
Out on the smooth stone of ocean
And we pointed out to them like they
Were our light houses
Like we were boats
Like we needed something to guide us home

And in between here and there
Were semi trucks
With steel quilted sides
And lights like strange underwater fish
Attracting this to that
Attracting me to you

And there were all those times
When you were my flame
In the deep cold
When you were my foundation
Under the immensity of water
When you were my drive
Through all of these other things

And we still point at each other, over a distance
Like you or I is a light
Like you or I is still in love
Apr 2010 · 935
Instead of Corpse
Jess Rose Apr 2010
Tonight in yoga
While we take corpse pose
And are supposed to empty our bodies and minds
The teacher says:
Listen to the tide of your breath

I think of the beach
The color of mist
And the time I found a
Dead sea otter
As long as myself
And still beautiful

When I open my eyes the walls
Are saffron
And the ceiling is burnt orange

I think of the monks
In the art museum
Who swept their hands
Through a sand medallion
And then released the remains
Into a lake with lilly pads

And when I look out the screen door
I see a racoon, climbing down
After plundering eggs

And I think of the cabin
Where the racoons would eat
The dog food at night
And my brother and I
In footed pajamas
Would hold flashlights and watch them

And as we close shavasana
And sit up
I realize I am the least empty
The least dead
The most beautiful corpse
Jan 2010 · 663
That Winter
Jess Rose Jan 2010
That winter the mountains were 20 feet taller
And I burrowed into my corner of the house
Like an animal

The pigeons sat in a line
On the Home Improvement sign
Their collars pulled up
In a cold there is no name for

The parking lots were sheets
Of ice
With ant hills
A tall light pole reaching out
Each opening
Lighting our ant ways
Through tunnels of snow

I called to say
“I miss you”
You said:
“It’s snowing in Chicago”
And I want to say
“It’s snowing here too, without you”

That winter things were filled
With winter
Chairs, pots, trees
My head
My dishware

That winter was a vast field
Between two people
And the hush of the winter trees
And the winter sky
And all the snowflakes that fell between them.
Jan 2010 · 559
Jess Rose Jan 2010
From there, it took off
In a tight and furious arch
That so fast
Seemed slowed
By heartbeats
Tied to a certain spark, accelerated
As it came flying back towards the land again
Like some sort of strange bird
Or insect
So controlled, yet so headily wild
Throwing back its head
Catching on fire
Burning down the line
Burning down its spine
All pressure telling it to fly
From the post
Burst outward
In an explosion akin to stars
Or bullet wounds
Arching, terribly fast
It hits the palm of my hand
And lolls like a tired dog
Jan 2010 · 552
Jess Rose Jan 2010
Sometimes the world is
    So large
That I can only handle it
    One poem at a time.
Counting each round grape
    Each pearl
One after another, obsessively,
    Like a rosary of words.

Sometimes the world
    Is so fast
I can only handle it
    One pause at a time.
Counting the moment each leaf
    Each breath
Falls in order, tumbling,
    Like the earth is falling.

Sometimes the world
    Is so beautiful
I can only handle it
    Once in my skin.
Counting each crease and groove
    Each nerve
Like it might last, forever,
    And in this poem, it will.
Jan 2010 · 618
This Haunting
Jess Rose Jan 2010
~“I’m haunted, I don’t find the poetry,
It finds me”
~Li-Young Lee

I knew then, what to call it
Walking, head down
And smoking
I could feel The Following
Pressing those points
Of bone and sinew in my back
Then slowly sliding inside my mouth
And I would be chewing it
This ghost
Turning it over with my tongue

At night
My pillow writhes with small demons
These small thoughts
With words on pitchforks
Happenstance bonfires burning
And I roll my lids over them
And observe them with closed eyes

I sit here, paused for him,
And wait….
And wait…..
For his familiar head to gust
Through my bedroom door
Jess Rose Jan 2010
We converse in circles like
Fish in a bowl
Forgetful shining bodies
Birds netted in
Wings stretching wide
Horses flying around the corral
We are crazy dark things

We talk ourselves into
Halos of light
Glass and frost
Of street lamps
Wire and heat
That glow
We are burning, burning, burning

We find ourselves
As if halos were blown away
The shape of things is
  Not to be seen
Neither here nor there
Two creatures not sleeping
But curled inside each other
Jan 2010 · 1.8k
Orange Sun
Jess Rose Jan 2010
Sitting on this table here
Is an orange
It is the sun
And it is the only orange from here
To New York
Where another orange sits
On another table
Sweet and juicy

If you cross the room
From my orange
You will be the earth
Only a trillion times too big
And no matter how bad you want
To grab that orange and
Peel it
You can’t

If you half that distance
You are Venus
In love with the orange
And half again
You are burning
From its pored skin

If you are earth again and leave the room
You are Mars, then farther still
Made of gas
If you jog outside your house
And down the block
Your breath will form rings
And moons
Around your body

And if you so choose
To pace 800 more lengths
And shrink to the size
Of sand
You can be Pluto
The Hungry
Cold and spinning
Jan 2010 · 992
The Fool and the Magician
Jess Rose Jan 2010
There once was a time
When a fool decided to create
The ant.
And so he bent over
And formed limbs out of
Twigs, out of earth,
A small shiny body
Out of berries and shells.

And the fool dragged these
Many parts around
Until it was the
Perfect aesthetic.
This small ant.

And the fool blew
A tiny wind
Into this body
And then watched
The ant stand, foolishly,
Watched the ant
Carry sticks and stones
Forming and reforming shapes,

Recreating his own creation.
Jan 2010 · 865
After Yoga Class
Jess Rose Jan 2010
After yoga class
After breathing deeply
After pigeon, and warrior, and eagle, and mountain
After laying on the floor like a ragdoll, eyes closed
I imagine slipping out from under the sheets
And padding to the bathroom
Where I ruffle my hair
And look glowing into the mirror
But instead I open my eyes
With eight other strangers
Who all roll up our mats
And pad to the front door
Put on our shoes
Smile shyly at each other
And go out into the snowy
    dusk night

— The End —