Transition Poem 73 @ Jan. 20, 2017

Lynn Schmeidler
All Our Karmas Bear Fruit Without Exception

Nobody saw it coming but the florist whose data—
she loves me she loves me not—presupposed the peaceful
transfer of affection. Despite the heart in my cris de coeur,

elections are not love songs. I come from the country of
what happens to me happens to you. We might have coupled
on a ballroom floor strewn with ceiling shards

in the bed-ridden monopoly of a moment in herstory,
but we refused to consider the desire of pavement
to crack. We might have recited The Book of Shadows

or broken flesh with one another in a ritual
of witches had there been more play in our defeat. As it is,
one more binge of fatal choices and I might split open

in a gutted mess of slogans at the profane communion table
of a felled future. America, bikini-craving brain
doused in dopamine, when it comes to a free vacation

giveaway where wine is spilled on promiscuous lips,
you’re an easy mark. With each exhale let go of your
attachments, one by one. We might have given birth to a butterfly,

fed a forest at our breast, lived and been counted. Once,
I was swaddled in footed pajamas, now tomorrow
comes up as unavailable on my caller ID.

And what’s with the daily news, breaking like a rogue wave
over the ocean liner of my guided meditation?
Hope has a shyster’s face printed in blood on its wings.

I hold out my begging bowl to this new now.


Editor’s Note: This poem includes in its entirety Mina Loy’s “Love Songs to Joannes,” section 3, which is in the public domain and reads as follows:

We might have coupled
In the bedridden monopoly of a moment
Or broken flesh with one another
At the profane communion table
Where wine is spilled on promiscuous lips
We might have given birth to a butterfly
With the daily news
Printed in blood on its wings


Lynn Schmeidler‘s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Awl, Barrow Street, Boston Review, Fence, Cider Press Review, The Los Angeles Review, New Delta Review, SLAB, Saw Palm, Comstock Review, The Pedestal Magazine, and White Stag, among other journals, as well as in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books (Minor Arcana Press), Mischief, Caprice and Other Poetic Strategies (Red Hen Press), Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed (Parlor Press), and Bared (Les Femmes Folles Books). Her chapbook Curiouser & Curiouser won the 2013 Grayson Books Chapbook Contest. Her chapbook More Than One Burning was a finalist for the 2016 Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize.