Poetry: Liz Waldner


Lacustrine and Midrash

This is what kind of sweet life I have had:

Someone wrote to me:

what a shame it is your love of life
should be pulled into its best channels by a lady radio

and I wrote it down
and I found it long enough later
that I have no idea who or when or why.
I did love that lady radio.


Someone sang to me:

up in an airplane
smoking her sweet cigarette
she went way up in an airplane

Then I read, years later, this very thing
in a Walker Percy novel
knew someone else had heard it sung
knew this was marvelous for I was so lone, so solitary
that whatever I heard was rendered
solitary too. Or so I thought but Oh

like Robinson Crusoe, I was not alone.

Now call upon my soul within the house,
go on, please.

I will answer, I am so happy.
Whereas before I knew this had all been so sweet

I would merely have hoped you would love me.


The ______ Stripped Bare

1. The company of heaven would be my company were it not for
this set of clothes.
2. The fiddle player looked in my eyes the whole way I walked up
to him.
3. The potter was unconcerned and hastened to show me her new
and unspeakable work.
4. Traded miracles over a fake bird’s eye maple tabletop with a
woman I’d seen before.
5. Outside the low blue light silvered the snowy mountain tops and
the unsettled surface of the sea.
6. Somehow the beach at Fort Worden Park eluded me today.
7. Somehow this feeling that scares me found me.
8. “Elvers” an unlikely name for something I might ever eat.
9. If they went to see the movie they never loved the book.
10. ‘Gilthoniel a Elbereth!’ echoes up loved from memory.
11. Terry Gilchrist sunburnt her nose repeatedly in 1980 Santa Fe.
12. All week New Mexico has reasserted itself, even before the sun
13. It is harder to wear out her clothing than one might wish.


Liz Waldner’s most recent poetry collection is Trust, due out from Cleveland State University Poetry Center in Spring 09. Poems current or forthcoming in New American Writing, Poetry, The Journal, Interim, The New Yorker, and Weber.