Poetry: Jennifer Reimer

Selected by Hoa Nguyen as a finalist for the  2018 Omnidawn Revealed Identity Poetry Book Prize

Keşke I.



           river valley 

ancient Lycia 

           way of— 


oleander, bay, fig, pine wild 



           Timber Mountain Tahtalı Dağı 

—throne of gods— 
      what were the right ways— what was the name that you gave
                                                                    her? tumbled into wind


—dreams a hundred years 


                      Christ : the pirate chief

his kingdom lost 

                   So the pirate 

          sets fire to his house fiery Mt. Chimaera—Yanartaş— 

—she— imagines 

          wife and daughters emerge from rock burn 
                                        inside— a flame that does not die by day or night 

part lion part goat part snake Χίμαιρα 

breath of— female fire enraged Anteia 

—she— hybrid dishonored 

witness these details: Mount Omurga 

            Çamoda Peak winged Bellerophon who 
on all sides arrowed clouds broke the sacred bond between 

—she— bewilders guest and host 

Zeus : his raging realm of 

          female death : she— 

spits in the dirt likes challenge 

myth’s arterial routes 


                             the coast 

          Çıralı origin of— 

Temple of Hephaestus — 

Burak, the tv actor 

lights a cigarette 

          promises —keşke— 

into risen night— 

—she—reconfigures geography of attachment 

monstrous goddess 

          combs snakes from her 

wet cool hair— one solid braid 

          —skin of sound— 

bruises to remember 

          what might have been care 
          what avoidance plaited into desires not— 

          —she— maquis: mint, laurel, myrtle 

          the 15th century 

                              —Olympos— olives and dry oak 

offer aching will 
            evidence you read 


          —she— now reads— 

Jennifer Reimer reading: Keşke I. (with Silvia Schultermandl)

Jennifer A. Reimer, Lise Meitner postdoctoral fellow in American Studies at the University of Graz in Austria, received her PhD in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011, and her MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco in 2005.  Jennifer has numerous scholarly and creative publications. Her first prose poetry book, The Rainy Season Diaries, was released in 2013 by Quale Press. The Turkish translation of The Rainy Season Diaries was released by Şiirden Press (Istanbul) in 2017.  Her second manuscript, Keşke, has been a finalist for prizes from Ahsahta Press, Eyeware Publishing, New Rivers Press, and Omnidawn Publishing.  She is the co-founder and co-editor of Achiote Press, an independent press dedicated to spotlighting underrepresented authors and artists.  A proud California native, Jennifer now lives in Austria. Follow her on FB (Jennifer Andrea) and Instagram (@jenniandreaca).