Two Poems by Liza Flum
Author: Poetry Editor
January 25, 2017
This week, two poems by Liza Flum.
The mouse, small
and flexible, fits through any hole,
collapsing its bones inward
like the pages in a book
that once fanned open.
That’s essentially its ribcage.
You’ll never believe how flat it gets.
Imagine yourself as a newspaper,
then ball yourself up. That’s
how your skin constricts.
The hole a mouse goes through
is its discovery.
A waterfall clears out a lane
five times its width
to sail over the cliff face.
That’s a generous estimate of space.
What if the clearings around you
always matched your most expansive state?
Like sleeping in a king bed forever.
Don’t get sick of yourself yet.
If you are as small as what
annoys you that is the point
of the needle, and if you’re as large as what
you love that’s the eye, the slit
just wide enough for a thread to pass.
A man leads a beautiful child by a guy rein.
He is mounted on a white bay, his little companion
on a cream-colored pony. And a wagon is tied to a tree
by a guy line. The nailed boards lead to the branch,
as a man ties himself to the child he’s built from,
pacing beside him at a small distance. A line
stabilizes a tall, freestanding thing. The guy
supports telephone poles and radio towers.
Guy lines are conductive, their own antennae.
They break the radiation patterns, so that, to sing,
we have to adjust for the quiet humming
of these lines in tension, a child and a man standing
beside the freestanding transmitter, at equal radii.
LIZA FLUM teaches writing at Cornell University, where she recently received an MFA. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Collagist, H_NGM_N, PRISM international and The Southeast Review. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Tent Creative Writing program. She is also a poetry editor for Omnidawn.