Poetry: Lisa Fishman

from 24 Pages

The frog kite flips over
makes a loop
of itself

Recall tying a chair to a kite & sitting there
for it to fly

Migration patterns askew in the hot March
blue herons also pass over
the frog kite’s tongue


Laughter thought her
Winter over
clothes put by
in the cedar trunk
First phallus popped up:  asparagus
in the land of the rabbits
or is the body a plant
with nerves that are fern

I guessed at the German:  die Farben sind dunkel
The father sings dumbly   (The colors are dark)

the bones earth or trees


“Something interwoven, embroidered, literally applied to the figures ‘overwrought’ or
‘written over’ . . . ”

the sun spells

Laurel & Prunus

lily-white turnip


Tractors were driven around the Capitol
In the uppermost branches
a flicker drums in
to the cambium layer
I heard this while coming
The news too down our spine

The poems here, and all of “24 Pages,” began during the out-of-kilter extreme warmth of March 2012, during which our few thousand fruit trees budded, then blossomed 2-3 months early, resulting in the death of most of the year’s fruit once the inevitable late frost came. The writing continued through that summer’s unprecedented heatwave and drought. Drought-losses merged I think with the death of my father, a woodworker, in July 2010. Once written, “24 Pages” was typed on a manual Montgomery Ward Escort 500. Although I had not been able to work for some time, the typewriter, and weirdly the fatal weather, allowed me back in.

lisa fishman b&wAt the time of this biographical note’s composition—winter solstice, 2012—there is a blizzard in Madison, Wisconsin, where Lisa Fishman is snowbound. She (I) wrote F L O W E R – C A R T and Current (Ahsahta and Parlor Press, respectively, 2011), and three other books including The Happiness Experiment. New work appears in recent issues of Volt, jubilat, Cannot Exist, they will sew the blue sail, and in friends’ mailboxes. She still lives in Orfordville.