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.

Suite of Imperfect Being

Suite of Imperfect Being

The texting is hopeful but not the pacing back and forth.
He feels removed, a memory of a memory of a memory.
(A ghost.)

                    Not the high forehead with the scar,
slash of an upside-down grimace.
He can't stop eating cookies, the kind with raisins in them,
large chunks of nut.

                    Not the smoking like he's chewing on sticks.
He tries to read, turns pages, important books with heft,
what else is he's supposed to do.
                    Not the fog of not knowing his own brain.

How the scar disapproves.
Mercy is for pussies.
Denial is what he doesn't understand,
like any father.

Oh, brother, he resents the upstaging by disease,
buys a big house, kicks out compassion like a squatter,

joins the church of unforgiving.

She lives inside her own head, under the covers,
bed head, sister feeling, leaving

for the unlearning of it.

Mother is another word for example,
                    reconciling the unreconcilable,
                    embracing the mutually exclusive, by not choosing: choose.

The inevitable always happens. The regretted words. The blindsided errand. The party crashing.

We arrive at a diagnosis.

But who has a prognosis for the rest of us?

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