Sharon Venezio received an MA in creative writing from San Francisco State University.  Her first full-length collection of poems, The Silence of Doorways, was released by Moon Tide Press in March 2013.  Her poems have appeared in Spillway, Bellevue Literary Review, Midway Journal, Reed, Transfer, and elsewhere.  She is co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets and works as a behavior analyst in Los Angeles. Read more at



For two months I’ve been living with monks.
No longer dizzy from the circle of worry,
I see truth in the order of things,
eat for the body, not the senses.  Still
I crave the sky in my mouth, feel
Kerouac’s fabulous roman candles explode
like spiders beneath my skin, wake
yawning for coffee, daydream
of curry and spice, make poems in my head
about the wild dishevelment of being,
that fierce blue drowning.
Of the ten defilements, passion is the one
I can’t shake.  In a month, I’ll step out
of the forest, carry my longing home again.

Published in Spillway


photo hereSharon Venezio


Family Album

Here, a cigarette dangles between her thin fingers;
she sleeps through conversation and ash.
Here she closes her eyes and the sea stops moving.

And here she is a boneyard of unspoken words,
salt in the quiet throat of her marriage.
Here she is the green whiff of childhood.

Here she is sparrowed at the edge of the earth,
exiled in her dying skin.  Here, like sorrow,
she is liquid in the bones.

And here is the day she will be gone, her eyes resting
no longer upon the tulips, their white
petals, like teeth, fall to the ground.

Here she is hair, and nail, and noise in the brain.
And here, dear body, be still.  Time is the only lover
that will touch her now.

Published in Ghost Town 


Psychology 402: Brain and Behavior

When I discover I have to dissect a sheep’s brain,
I go down the hall to Animal Behavior and plead my case,
but it’s too late.  I’ll have to pry my way through
the four ventricles, push pins into gray matter and breathe
formaldehyde through a useless white mask.

I hold the brain in my awful hands, make an incision at the base
of the cerebellum, place a red pin into the pineal gland,
a green pin into the amygdala: here’s where it feels joy,
here’s where it feels fear, here’s where it remembers
the beautiful dying stars.

Published in Chaparral

2013 Sharon Venezio


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