Stacy Szymaszek

From THREE NOVENAS

VI.

          Ave, o Maria, piena di grazia,
          il Signore è con te.
          Tu sei benedetta fra le donne
          e benedetto è il frutto del tuo seno, Gesù.
          Santa Maria, Madre di Dio,
          prega per noi peccatori,
          adesso e nell’ora della nostra morte.
          Amen

we are the point of oscillations
between the moon and the tides

a fine line between being
banished and banishing
myself from all human rooms

the hermit corpus made of two
opposing triangles joining
to create a star

let us give up our trips
your votive light whips out voyage
upon the wall you make lucky
the person who hears luxury
in the ringing of ears
there is a public for poetry
but not a world

the midwife had a halo
of outgrown purple hair

these new and ephemeral sensations
like other onsets
your body is changing everyday

I have it
on female
authority


…let me show you

I’m from the South
when we see a snake
we kill it

are you Christian…

the garter snake in pieces in the fallow
garden and a tale of local revenge
18 snakes under a woman’s bed

an odd job
completed at dusk he alluded to
a past he got out from under (holy
spirit
) a moment of silence
instead of daring to relate
and for snake

smoky sun haze
shadows of leaves slithered
against the foyer wall

obtain/become untied

empower candelabra
mother of thousands
aka devil’s backbone
whisper to the old captain
petitioning you
the answer to the riddle
to hide your weaknesses
physically projects them


VII.

          Ave, o Maria, piena di grazia,
          il Signore è con te.
          Tu sei benedetta fra le donne
          e benedetto è il frutto del tuo seno, Gesù.
          Santa Maria, Madre di Dio,
          prega per noi peccatori,
          adesso e nell’ora della nostra morte.
          Amen

is it wrong that I eat?

it is wrong that I eat

stomach turns to teeth turns
to stomach to give up
even as experiment
just beyond me

now I say beware of tomatoes

fasten mirrored goggles
and jump into the pool
of consommé


torrent of tears
in late capitalism
to the tune of Pac Man dying

ruinous effects start to show up
let us now celebrate
sanctioned language
so poets get the message

when what you need starts
to disappear
in the zeitgeist

help me to understand loss
as a way of life

day ended watching heat
lightning through Venetian
blinds where there is

injury
pardon

petition
for ancient water
passed to the young
little frogs and clay clams

to not imagine
a reader

to literally impact
space with style

a comfort zone


on the Feast of Saints Anne
and Joachim I arranged
animal figurines
around the books

never make a living aging
are just the age of all the aging
and will un-age and live again


I received an envelope of gravel
from East River Park
and poured it through a hole
in my hand like a lost
way of life
the video zoomed outward
from St. Mark’s past
the iron gate and stone
lion which struck me
as a visual pulp
of the approximately 3,200
times I left the church
for the night

but also offering
me getting no free-er
from history
a feeling
of highly formalized
tranquility

I dedicate/obtain

Stacy Szymaszek is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, A Year From Today (2018).
Two books are forthcoming in 2022, Famous Hermits and The Pasolini Book. From 2007-2018 she was
the Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in NYC.

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