[The Depth of the coal]

Ish Klein

The Depth of the coal

by which I mean, the depth of the cool.

The Depth was knowing at the string of me

by which I mean last Thursday.Is a peaceful life what I am doing here?

Women are talking about you

which means you will not die today.

A face with a name is madefrom every single person who looked through

the eyes assigned to your name there.

Glaucous, Blurry, By Sugar Harmed,

Blue from a flipped perception of water,Brown from going for the gold. If the pressing

of the lenses throws the book at you,

or says the words <<sacré pieds>>,

let’s just say yellow over blue, Fool.I feel a funeral is implied. I gripe inside

when people cry. Like they are more cool to do so?

My concern that they are snagging

the progress of the choice.What’s confusing is not that nobody owns anything reallybut that a part of the all is free.

A custom I began in my mind is to put the corpse on a blanket

the loved ones each taking an edge and bouncing the corpse

as if to say if this ain’t fun, get with loving faces.I been here long enough to know the first guy

splattered with embalming fluid will say ‘fuck this I’m done.’

Or maybe that was me. I have come from a space

and the best I can do is to not be cool to you by which I meanindifferent. The children I am therein and who thus far the I

have only been smoking with annoyance and disregard for animal

skin. In french the word is embêté.

“Holmes, do you think there is a link?Insofar as this here word rhymes with empathy?”

“Watson are you making fun of me?”

“No Holmes, just the one thing; not of you.”

“Watson you are a fool. Now give me the key to my room.”“Guess which hand.”

“With you it’s always the left.”

“Correct.” I want to leave into freedom

like some of you maybe sometimesPerhaps you have experienced jealousy at the funeral

of the good man for the fact that he is dead.

I felt it myself: despair in the land

comes at us in the air sometimes.I do not want my material melted into a canon.

I do feel I mean something for being. I responded

to the stabbing; I got help for the woman

who later found me and gave me meat and material.She said I should find my family (wasn’t that you?)

A qualm came up. But now I know they are who is causing

the motion of stones over the earth.

I finish our interaction eleven years later.Oh good one. Oh good, that’s done.

“Holmes, what do you make of the concept

of the double one; or ten and one,

the word we call eleven?Could this be the real meaning

of the complete face and the very, very

different face beside it?

We see it beside ourselves.Holmes!


I know you’re in there

I can smell your pipe smoke!”

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Ish Klein’s published books are: Consolation and Mirth, Moving Day, and Union! and the chapbook “Every Animal Is Your Mother”. She attended the Iowa Writers Workshop for Poetry and Columbia University. Her poems have appeared on the Poetry Foundation website, Fence magazine, Epiphany magazine, Jubilat, and others. Ish is a founding member of the Connecticut River Valley Poets Theater or CRVPT.  Her play, “In A Word, Faust” has been performed internationally; it was published by the Cambridge Literary Review. Her play, “The Orchids” was a finalist for the Leslie Scalapino Award. She is also the author of the plays “The Dee Men,” “Drummer 41,” and “The Storm.”

Cosmonauts Avenue

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