Jordan Stempleman

None Single

the amount of water required to create mold
must feel useful
in comparison to the gallons of water it took
to get the crud off


sure I think of the kissed more than the rhetoric
bird names
or building up on my Spanish

there once was a seagull there
with us
and I’m sure there were many languages
around us in the air

languages we couldn’t speak but that we’d know
if we heard them even
somewhat together again


after seven teeth appear waiting, ready
for the solution of how to linger
without sticking out, as those songs, once again preserved
within our reaches, the wee hours, dangerous
as a man’s
thinking, we shall then reopen
the sudden comforts, our improper and effortless face


there are clothes and then
there are the clothed,
it’s the best thing for us all, I’m telling
the Englishman,
and he says, shut up,
Circe, that old trick’s got nothing
to do with me


the midnights, for instance
are often heard saying

from now on
from then on there will never die
another listening ahead
of time

the learned and the taken, the furthering
we abandon, we hope
and give way from behind

Style If Not

There’s the slant again, it sounds sincere, doesn’t chew

the furniture or skip the gudgeon

as safety would account. It tends to its attitude, even

when it leaks and runs and makes a mess

across the meadow.

In the Face

I am not featuring pessimism
as a function. I am not a member of a trade
union, although I was invited to a lunch
or two I meant to attend, but didn’t.
The heroic, are the overlapping
voices found wandering the streets,
since they all came to the neighborhood too early
and the restaurant doesn’t open
until noon. The city-life is back to
evolving. I know it’s a central force to my reasoning
and order. There are times to go in.
This is of those times. I am not
imagining this, although I could, and may continue
to do so since taught, never to waste a being-
based aesthetic. That’s me—
reminding myself to work, live, and then
speak, in that order. They are closest to my biological
likeness. They have accidents as well.

For Hal, Willie, Jerry, and Joe
I’ve got a joke, but he’s a big child who could care less for jokes, and is good to remind, timing has nothing to do with safety. He lives off wet grass and black fish, staying out long after the good kids come home, eating gyros with friends he just met, talking to the wind after they suddenly leave for a more secured ending. I can always count on him to return home once the lights are out, looking so loyal and so tired from being fucked with all night, by those cocksucking right words.

Bona Drag

no thanks, no

good ever


from heaviness, phonecalls

often contain


of weight, space

weight, sudden


do I still

owe you


a mistake for

you and


to've sat under

the apple


Jordan Stempleman lives with his wife and daughter in Iowa City where he is a Teaching/Writing Fellow at the Writers’ Workshop. His poetry has previously appeared in magazines such as Blue Fifth Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Milk Magazine, MiPoesias, Moria, New American Writing, Otoliths, Shampoo, and Word For/Word. His first book, Their Fields is available through Moria e-books.

     "Let me know what you know."

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