Zoe Greenberg – Poets Farm the City, Two Houses: Two Poems

Street Art by JR
Street Art by JR

Poets Farm the City:

Poets farm the city for love.
Till the soil of a white page
dig out the brilliant colors
still flowering in our dry spirits

We’re so afraid of the dark
we lit a million sizzling torches
and we grind our teeth beneath them
all night, all night, all night.

Poets know we’re mostly darkness
that the soul remains invisible,
inside and only wondered at,
all the shut-out scenes of the body
and memory and longing
wet and glistening inside all
the lovers with their shut eyes
hoping for something that comes out bright.

I wish I could grow within you
under the heat lamp of your heart
make this machine life worthwhile,
tie this sinew of electric anguish
into a simple ballad:
the sun and the flowers,
the sun and the flowers,
the sun and the flowers.11


Two Houses:

Two houses.
Two bedrooms

Two closets full of clothes
Two birthdays, two Christmases

Two diaries to write in clumsy child’s hand.
Two dinner tables.

"Manifest Destiny" by Mark Reigelman
“Manifest Destiny” by Mark Reigelman

In one house, brown rice and veggies.
In another, McDonald’s once a week and coke every night.

Two prescriptions for a fever. Two ways of looking at the world.
Two ways of responding to loneliness. Two ways of making love

And two ways of destroying it I feel I should be done by now
It’s time to become the one person I’ve always dreamed of being

And lay to rest my memories of being torn in two
I don’t know what it means to come from one

Place; I don’t know, a source,
Some rooted thing inside of me,

"Asphyxiophiliac" by Kit Reisch
“Asphyxiophiliac” by Kit Reisch

Somewhere beneath my feet even,
Where is my seed

In the waiting earth
I’m always turning

Two solutions to the problem of madness;
Two quick hugs and a kiss on the lips

Two punishments for the one action
Two disappointments in two thwarted lives

Two guilty parents who want
To be forgiven separately;

The way you divide a bill
Two chances at one daughter.

No one anticipated
that I’d walk out of two homes

and into one life

Zoe Greenberg