Two Poems

Jennifer Petersen

Hygiene (1914)
From what is the framework of your little house made?
This time last year     re: slow melt
of the Pitman System

How do you know your house is here?
I saw you by those rocks     Your mineral heritage brooch
Fire can jump the road--not everyone knows that
From where do the little blood boats travel?
But it happens
What makes the Twin Dwarfs angry?
Never have I ever in the kitchen
Never have I ever with your ragged townie heart
What kind of storehouse is there in your brain,
and what is put away there?

Skim off the blue and march it to the trellis
Interpret this as papers raining from the sky     Any form will do
Which house must you occupy as long as you live, and who is its master?
     a disaster     Just a bunch of people not to fuck,
all at one table
Why do you receive visitors in the parlor rather than in the cellar?
As stones in the mouth
Your little deep time sigh
What do those coming back to the heart bring?
About a half-hour from here, someone says
With no traffic
Nitrogen City
I. the appraisal
tenants in the mezzanine
gentle assembly dreaming still or
blurred awake as though by distant static
softest now, and blinking
some lean like shadows on the wall
slim pockets sweetly offer
benzo-smudged conjecture never
noticed what we needed was
some color in here
gaze now at crimson
on the vine
the tiny, trembling fists
II. the expert
as fast, or faster
drip from pixel grit
to slow water, moss
and after
seeds as planted but
basically brittle
still, go spin it
in your house
of swollen particulars
III. the oracle
stalled by the season's broad resolve
forgive me, neighbor
our blooming city
as seen from space