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Poem of the Week by Jay Besemer

Two poems from ‘Chelate’By Jay Besemer


the body between sleep & waking is a

dim room in its own right : a quiet

installation in a dusty gallery : a hum or

a flash stirs the air : the location shifts :

now a full dwelling painted with gloom

opens out from parted lips : a hand

loosely curled in a lock, dumb hasp left

free : some words are visible in the

corners of the body : addresses : names

: questions scratched from transcripts of telephone conversations : yesterday,

last week, a decade ago : they are maps

for strangers to use : those little vague

scratches on the backs of invitations :

folded paper to rest the head on, again

& again ::


& these stars awake in your belly : & the

anchor they form holds your body in the

deep : & your limbs move slowly, more

wave than matter : & each moment

erases itself from your skin : & the

question you were born with escapes : &

your eyes close : & your voice leaps up,

a little dog on your tongue : & your

breath opens : & your breath : & your

hand : & your hand ::

Chicago-based poet and hybrid artist JAY BESEMER will join Buffalo-based poet Celia White in a reading at 3 p.m. today at Rust Belt Books, 202 Allen St. Besemer is a Buffalo native, whose recent books include “Aster to Daylily” (Damask Press, 2014) and “A New Territory Sought” (Moria Press, 2014). As Jen Besemer, he was the author of “Object with Man’s Face” (Rain Taxi/Ohm Editions, 2013) and “Telephone” (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2013) as well as three other chapbooks.