Two poems from Stilled Somewhere Possible by Cheryl Pallant • Empty Mirror

roller / credit: deroller / credit: de

English Refrains

Pine, ginko, and chestnut complement the land Talk, discussion
and argument volunteer time Ask to establish rank Squirm
Take the first bite Eliminate the white granules of salt the iced
green tea Offer a hug as if noting an irresistible sale on t-shirts

So pleasant to see you
Have a nice day
Weather is good

But look at water pressure faded signs octopi arms
in a suction cupped scuffle invasive clams mud
slides bonding chemicals vaporized The shadow of
artillery and rusting tanks Judgement
eerily revealed Stares leave little choice

So pleasant to see you
Have a nice day

Provide a valid excuse Dodge the trajectory
of a ladder Sing breathless about ignorance
Drink beer and consume mushrooms Translate the email
with apologies Turn down the fruition of evidence

So pleasant to see you

One person’s ignorance another American pie

Lady’s Night

“Your turn. You decide.”
How about

holding masks in place
debate empty cans

a massive chemical and nuclear arsenal
how many bulbs illuminate the room

the shape of numbers
a balance-challenged novice

the domain of men

an eyebrow rising
rice cakes

flatter and offend in the same

These poems are from the collection Stilled Somewhere Possible, which is comprised of erasures of Ginseng Tango, the poet’s published Business Relationships about her time in South Korea.

Business Relationships Book