Siel Ju


Monday shrouds her in mock mink, a shoulder
bared like a wiggle out the dovecote.
Caffeine rims the cup as she waits, unfrothing.
The obligatory appearance of teeth,
and below them, burnt tongue. Logorrhea
with a hint of parsley. Liquid soy
deconstructed by spoon and circumstance.
Loneliness is to cell phone data plans
as earthquake weather to table limits.
Legs tremble. Coda: The mute petulance
of calfskin boots.


The trick is to enjoy it, the machine
gun rhythm of periodontal spondees,
the vroom vroom of one metaphor clapping.
MDMA therapy is to war as
fetid moralizing to good posture.
Of course there will be critics, moonwalking
down the grocery aisles, fingernails raised,
but the battle’s best won on the train tracks,
playing chicken with Hippolyte’s ghost.
Make a toast then. Each exhibitionist’s just
a screen flash in the pan.

Critical Mass

Even blue-haired waitresses have bad days.
Thus truculence is to bicycles as
hide-and-seek to shiny plastic bags.
We ride freely, as a wholphin streaks
across the meadow, he said, to which
the professionals grunted, popping wheelies
in salty imitation. To the left
gray stones smiled neat rows of mismatched teeth,
the right a hullabaloo of palm trees
waving bye-bye to a Magritte cloud lisping,
this is not a toy.

Siel Ju's poems have been recently published or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, LIT, Denver Quarterly, The Offending Adam, and other journals. In her free time, she teaches at Santa Monica College. Once an avid blogger, she now keeps an ill-maintained website at sielju.com.
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