ISSUE  1   2   3   4   SUBMIT


Jen Coleman

Gasps in Data

I go weeks without being reminded—
I was a princess witch
Despising my tongue in my mouth.

There are many princesses in long skirts,
mirror princess, moon princess, baby princesses
touching in a friendly way

taking an elbow in the crowd,
cone hats with flowing ribbons,
princess, sister to a princess, sister to a princess,

and they dance with their palms together—
heads swiveled like a ball joint,
cone hats spiral towards the queen.

I was a princess witch, and I wore a prosthetic forehead.
My forehead's skin grafted to a steel plate,
my steel forehead grounded with a green wire.

Princess ribbons tangle and release like a seaweed tide.
Princess beliefs unfurl, princess curls, I see---
dance matters, behave like a moon, believe like a moon.

Babies believe they see mirror-babies believing.
To this a princess is vulnerable, vulnerable too.
I was strange, I happened in a mirror.

They wear hats in tall cones,
the hats that make princesses princesses,
with flowing ribbons and sleeves.

I was the only princess
with a real cone-shaped sloping forehead
not giving in to morbidity.





The doctrine of eh oh
a translation of Lao Tsu

Tellytubby kind forgets not that which is to be forgotten
forgetting that which is not to be forgotten.
That is forgetfulness indeed!

The giggly tellytubby cultivates a friendly sun
How firm is Po’s again again!
How firm is Po in Po’s again again!

Po does not change from what Po was.
And thus Po sets Po’s scooter free,
for Po has no use for baby-shaped things;

Po has no hat,
and has no need for the hat haaat hat song.
Because Po has no eh-oh
the questions of real and fantasy do not touch Po.

Infintesimal indeed is a day in Tellytubby land;
infinitely great is the tellytubby superdome.

Dipsy said to Laa Laa, “Does Po indeed have no eh-oh?”

“Certainly” replied Laa Laa.

“But if a tellytubby has no eh-oh,” argued Dipsy, “what is it that makes Po a tellytubby?”

“Real and fantasy,” answered Laa Laa, “are what I mean by eh-oh.
By a tellytubby without eh-oh
I mean one who does not permit belief and doubt to disturb Po,
but falls in line with baby shaped things
and does not try to improve on dancing.”

“But how is a tellytubby to dance this song they made up,” asked Dipsy, “Po does not try
to improve Po’s dancing?”

“The windmill gives Po magic,” said Laa Laa,
“and tubbytronic superdome gives Po custard.
Lean against a tree and sing ‘nice;’
or bounce a ball growing bigger and smaller.
Tubbytronic superdome has made you a big hug.”





Mirror song

See you see a bee swallow hive, see
you see a honeycomb wriggle,
what’s changed is the humming space,
what’s moved is the wing become light
though the light is a space
that quivers and a magnet
and the sun is a hot glass.
Bee sees bees dancing and bees
see lily fields in a tunnel and honeycomb
eyes see lily lily it’s me that’s a lens
in a straying sky eye a bee sees
a bee in a lily a sparrow sees
bee broth of light a broth bright.
The mirror the way the mirror
What’s not done a wand true wielding
a mirror name wizard the mirror borrows
the lily bees honey queen
sees honey queen and drone sees wiggling
drone and inside eye a trust mirror
perfect unmerciful face, the light
turns back the bees go in.