Previous Moonday Features        Current Moonday Features        Upcoming Moonday Features CORWIN is the author of  two poetry collections, The Uncertainty
of Maps and Conversations With Friendly Demons and Tainted Saints. Nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Prize, her poetry has appeared in ACM, Forklift, Hotel Amerika, New Ohio Review/nor, Poetry East, Southern Poetry Review andVerse. Corwin is an Advisory Editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal and co-edited the anthology Inhabiting the Body: A Collection of Poetry and Art by Women. She has performed her work across the country, regularly collaborating with musicians, dancers and other poets. Corwin lives in Chicago.


From Keyboards, Characters

                                    for Anne Silver, dec. 2005

             A comma here and there
and words pitch
an aria from La Boheme, become
tropical fruit in Carmen Miranda’s hat. 
Shine shoes, park cars.
Comes the dust of an ellipsis and
       who knows...
A bevy of characters 
comes on tap,
connecting us, as if genetically,
through sequences
strung out in countless permutations
a backspace can erase.            
 (There are people
who see personalities
in every alphabetic letter. Favorite colors
and zodiac tattoos. Can paralyze
a timepiece with a single touch.) 
...You, my friend,
are an exclamation point, that is
the shortest distance to
the bottom line, a compact sentence
with a knockout jab!
I am an asterisk.*
You insist: one comma
too many for a simple declarative
sentence. Precursor  
to an afterthought. I am that
which never goes  
without saying, sloshes into margins.
     Beyond that, 
I am tresses spilling over
a tortoise shell barrette. 
*Two cents more
than two cents more.
        But you –
you are a capillary
cut short. Last flag
at the eighteenth hole. Flamenco red
with castanets for fingers,
you are the arch and the eyebrow,
vodka straight up with a wink
at thought’s end,
                            a salty staccato.
Moles can see it
from two blocks away.
For you: the quickening heart,
the sucker punch. 
For me: the detour
sign where bridges are equivocal.
                 And why stop there?
I am a pair of walkie-talkies and
the static in between. A clothesline 
connecting two windows. Length of rope
just long enough
to string three sheets.
                 Some days
are hunt and peck
at best, pig slops 
and chicken scratch.  Others come
bearing tea and scones
on silver trays. Between whistling
kettle and compost pail, gourmands
and philosophers argue
we are what we ingest.
                But for now,
my dying friend, you are
Jimmy Durante’s final chortled cha!
in ha-cha cha cha! and if
you don’t mind my saying,
you are the ultimate in apogee
and fiddlestick.
                  I, on the other hand,
am not exactly
an astral body in Upper Case,
but a binary star
in a busy constellation. Stopping traffic
to ask the orbits for directions.

© 2012 Nina Corwin

Nina Corwin



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