Magazine | October 3, 2011, Issue



. . . grips a tapered wine glass, nearly drained,

Beneath a gold band and engagement gem;

Ham-fisted, left-hand fingers round the stem,

Forefinger lifted, fattened with the strain.

The symptoms of her sloe-eyed pose are pained,

Her lips pulled wide and reddened.  Under them,

The edges of her V-dart collar hem

Conceal, almost, the goblet. Golden-veined

In theme, the lavish suite behind her speaks

Of debts and delegations fit for kings,

Troubadour orchestras, prime execution,

Absolute power and official leaks.

The velvet of its jetty panels sings

Of coups d’état, Rousseau and revolution.

And here, in this, she wears true blue, couture

In polished rayon, modernist in flair

And line; the padded shoulders — broad and square –

Fall through long arms, thigh-level, too obscure

For fair description — lowered in demure,

Meek relaxation. Glossed and dense, her hair

Falls to the bijou throat’s transcendence, bare

Of ornament: off-parted, insecure.

She seems anatomy immune to force:

Before her, ceremony and applause,

Behind and after nothing, barren space.

Be gratified, but warned, Self: In due course,

These hues will clash and die, those classic jaws,

The tongue that teased for hours a lover’s face.

But even death, her ghost, won’t bring you ease.

Some cranny of the house, some corner room,

Will be conscripted as a waking tomb

In which her soul is stored and made to freeze

Or swell by disproportionate degrees:

Initialed stationery — each assume

Precedence to your flawed, impassioned flesh;

A mothball take on mystical allure

Where you will be the spider in a welt

Above her bookshelf, spinning out your mesh

In mortal coiling, cloistered and impure,

Your webbing clogged with pastry cloth and felt.

Jennifer Reeser is the author of six books. Her most recent poetry collection is Indigenous (Able Muse Press, 2018).

In This Issue



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Patently Absurd

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Books, Arts & Manners

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A Long Red Sunset

One of the hardy staples of American history is the question of what happened to American socialism. As the only industrialized nation in the world in which avowedly socialist or ...
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Going Viral

Some of the scariest material that Stephen King has ever written — scarier, in its way, than anything in The Shining or ’Salem’s Lot or Pet Sematary — is contained ...
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Bless the Beasts

Some virtues are by accidents of history associated with utopianism, hostility to private property, anti-clericalism, and other core beliefs of the Left. I can scandalize a yoga instructor anywhere in ...


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The Ron Paul Movement Rides On It is not surprising that with the polls ranking him third nationally, Ron Paul would finally make the cover of National Review (“Ron Paul’s Last ...
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The Week

‐ Bad news for the Democrats: It turns out some of those people who cling bitterly to their religion are Orthodox Jews in Queens. ‐ The great strength of the conservative ...
The Bent Pin

Terminal Eloquence

This column was supposed to be about presidential personality problems. I should have started writing it sooner to give myself plenty of time but I was irresistibly distracted by a ...

Proper Aim

Ask any employer, and you’ll hear the same lament: We’d love to hire people, but we need an inexplicable modification of the tax code exquisitely calibrated to provide a tiny ...
Politics & Policy


IN THESE PHOTOGRAPHS, MY RIVAL . . . grips a tapered wine glass, nearly drained, Beneath a gold band and engagement gem; Ham-fisted, left-hand fingers round the stem, Forefinger lifted, fattened with the strain. The ...
Happy Warrior


At the start of the summer, I attended a graduation ceremony in Vermont, for which a bigshot speaker had been flown up from New York. “Your world is changing so ...

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