House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.


Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.


I have finished the alphabet with my dictionary poems. Here's Y. There's something about the form I find really freeing. I know I really push meaning. Trying to see how far I can go (I guess). Let me know your takeaways. I know your style is more narrative, and this is...well, I am not sure what to call it... elliptical?

yearn / ing

 1: I live in the valiant cold.

2: Thoughts insinuate like fish on a shelf,
throwing off my lap blanket.

-- I squealed here as a stone girl.

3: Shunt of water echoes the sea caves.

4: When pressed by a knowing hand, the wing of my shoulder opens. Tightness creaks,
muttering a new mythology.

5: I hurt in places.

               a) The sun in my eyes when we kissed, I can't see  for the light
               b) Deposit of sedimentary strata, sitting still.

6: One son was born in an inlet far away. They clapped 
him out of me in an applause of waves.

7: Now, he, too, has a slippery fish.

               -- Smile of his father's father calcifies,
               reveals salt.

8: Eddying pool of water reflects
the gem-sea-blue of my daughter. 

9: The eldest, skipping son, rubs clean,

     a smooth surface.

10: I could chisel my children
but for the ache.

11: Long ago, I had a friend the name of a note:


12: Her mother was Navajo, chanted long tunnels,
holes in the frozen lake.

          a) A changing woman,
     her hair in streaks.
          b) Her loneliness. 

13: My house made of ice.   

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