Jacqueline Tchakalian is a visual artist as well as a poet.  She has past experience as co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets Series and the Los Angeles Poetry Festival.  Her poems have appeared in Eclipse, So to Speak, California Quarterly, West/Word 4, Sheila-Na-Gig, Hurricane Alice, and the online publications Speechless and Poets Against War.  She was a finalist in the 2007 Conflux Press Artist’s Book Contest and the 2011 Tennessee Williams  Festival Poetry Contest.  She has a poem forthcoming in the Fall 2011 edition of Eclipse.

Irises and babies have to push their way
into this world, meringue beats lighter
in a copper bowl, ants avoid alum,
and cast iron pans are best for frying fish.
I know to prune a peach tree, cut a sucker,
and drop dead from laughter once or twice a year. 
I know it is possible to darn a garment with human hair,
the stitching so fine you will have trouble finding the tear, 
and my husband will become amorous when I prepare
his favorite meal.  If he should die first, leaving me alone
with arthritic hands and knees, I won’t be able
to trim the hedges or move the ladder.  We will never
resolve the thorny issue of the second pond. 
I know I will miss him; then I won’t.

Published in Speechless


I want a man to pull
milk from my breasts;
know taste, fragrance,
honeyed intoxication;

lock his mouth on
a nipple the way babies,
with fingers like cloves
of dandelion trailing

swollen bosom,
aroused skin,
hooked areola, sucked,
swallowed, took me in.

These breasts no longer
work like bees
at the mere thought
of a newborn’s

squirming weight
close to the hive,
rooting like swarms
in fields of clover.

Collapsed now,
sagging, my
honeycomb ducts
wish to open

for man,
baby, sun,
seed, roots,
earth as mouth

Published in Eclipse

It’s the slide in
   his voice – enticing
      to sublime – that

I ride, infused, under
   sleep’s cover of bare
      dreams: lips busy,

limbs tangled, faces
   blurred:  silent
      angels all,  

scuddering about. Thank
   you, Leonard.     
      I hear rumble

in your voice, cracks
   to slip through,
      kneel of your knees

as you kiss the night
   away and I slide in
      and out of reverie

Jacqueline Tchakalian - Featured Poet at Moonday Poetry West

© 2011 Jacqueline Tchakalian

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