Ish Klein | Poetry

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The Depth of the coal
by which I mean, the depth of the cool.
The Depth was knowing at the string of me
by which I mean last Thursday.

Is a peaceful life what I am doing here?
Women are talking about you
which means you will not die today.
A face with a name is made

from every single person who looked through
the eyes assigned to your name there.
Glaucous, Blurry, By Sugar Harmed,
Blue from a flipped perception of water,

Brown from going for the gold. If the pressing
of the lenses throws the book at you,
or says the words <<sacré pieds>>,
let’s just say yellow over blue, Fool.

I feel a funeral is implied. I gripe inside
when people cry. Like they are more cool to do so?
My concern that they are snagging
the progress of the choice.

What’s confusing is not that nobody owns anything really

but that a part of the all is free.
A custom I began in my mind is to put the corpse on a blanket
the loved ones each taking an edge and bouncing the corpse
as if to say if this ain’t fun, get with loving faces.

I been here long enough to know the first guy
splattered with embalming fluid will say ‘fuck this I’m done.’
Or maybe that was me. I have come from a space
and the best I can do is to not be cool to you by which I mean

indifferent. The children I am therein and who thus far the I
have only been smoking with annoyance and disregard for animal
skin. In french the word is embêté.
“Holmes, do you think there is a link?

Insofar as this here word rhymes with empathy?”
“Watson are you making fun of me?”
“No Holmes, just the one thing; not of you.”
“Watson you are a fool. Now give me the key to my room.”

“Guess which hand.”
“With you it’s always the left.”
“Correct.” I want to leave into freedom
like some of you maybe sometimes

Perhaps you have experienced jealousy at the funeral
of the good man for the fact that he is dead.
I felt it myself: despair in the land
comes at us in the air sometimes.

I do not want my material melted into a canon.
I do feel I mean something for being. I responded
to the stabbing; I got help for the woman
who later found me and gave me meat and material.

She said I should find my family (wasn’t that you?)
A qualm came up. But now I know they are who is causing
the motion of stones over the earth.
I finish our interaction eleven years later.

Oh good one. Oh good, that’s done.
“Holmes, what do you make of the concept
of the double one; or ten and one,
the word we call eleven?

Could this be the real meaning
of the complete face and the very, very
different face beside it?
We see it beside ourselves.

Holmes!
Holmes!
I know you’re in there
I can smell your pipe smoke!”

Ish Klein’s published books are: Consolation and Mirth, Moving Day, and Union! and the chapbook “Every Animal Is Your Mother”. She attended the Iowa Writers Workshop for Poetry and Columbia University. Her poems have appeared on the Poetry Foundation website, Fence magazine, Epiphany Magazine, Jubilat, and others. Ish is a founding member of the Connecticut River Valley Poets Theater or CRVPT.  Her play, “In A Word, Faust” has been performed internationally; it was published by the Cambridge Literary Review. Her play, The Orchids was a finalist for the Leslie Scalapino Award. She is also the author of the plays The Dee Men, Drummer 41, and The Storm.

2018-11-26T18:07:50+00:00