Jennifer Ley: Poems
DISCOVERY | ON
of the internet literary magazine Riding
the Meridian and
the award winning hypertext poetry site The Astrophysicist's
Tango Partner Speaks, Jennifer Ley's newest work is more
often in the field of hypertext and hypermedia. Examples can be
found on the web at the April feature and the Valentine
Files at the Electronic Poetry Center,
in the web journals Cauldron and Net, Framed, The Animist,
Snakeskin, and Conspire, and in the trAce anthology:
My Millennium. Her web works have been exhibited at
Digital Arts and Culture '99, at the Wednesdays at 4 readings
series at SUNY-Buffalo, and will be included in the SIGGRAPH 2000
Art Gallery, the Ink.ubation Salon sponsored by the trAce online
writing community, and digital conferences planned this year in
South Africa and Eastern Europe. A 1998 Pushcart nominee
for her text poetry, Jennifer Ley's earlier work has appeared
in a wide variety of print publications, both on and off line.
A limited edition, paper version of her web work "The
Birth of Detachment" is forthcoming from PaperBrain Press
in conjunction with its online publication at the Iowa Review
Web. She is a founding member of the Internet Literary
Editor's Fellowship-- ILEF
and a member of the Literary Advisory Committee for the Electronic
sure you are not sleeping
the enemy, intimacy is best
with strangers, before
know the true dimensions
the other, during that brief
when what you expect
wish to be reflects off the face
your beloved like a pale, new moon,
you to the lip of the cenote.
else to make a woman,
rational, sure of herself,
life in the lap of the ever-after,
nameplate of a martyr, for
she has leapt, there is no egress.
one will throw her a rope
the sides of the pit
too slippery for ascent.
is married now but has not taken
husband's name does this mean
is not his wife? If she gave up her birth name
sported her husband's would she cease
be her father's daughter? What's in a name
been asked and answered in this case
the lawyers would state if you requested
clarification, as he who watched
path of her approach claims now
name her, stamp her as something he
discovered. But a name is not the meat
a thing, can merely mold its flesh for a time.
of the planet who thought to be mercurial,
gazed too long in one direction, found his face
locked upon the core. But comets keep
distance, secure in their orbits,
of their eventual direction, back out
the spawning night and the birthing cloud,
galaxy on the edge of a universal arm.
the edge, in the dark, she waits, patiently
what was lost on her last solar run,
spark and thrust of her the same.
the celestial clock she is ageless. Perhaps
will seek to name her when she returns,
perhaps she will seek this time to name herself.
thought this was the season of the resurrection,
time when we unwrapped our shrouds and
new skin, shed the carapace of so many
sins. I thought the only stones
those rolled wide to set the risen free,
those hurled by other hands, nor rocks
worked their way into my clutch, cutting
I thought I was supposed to speak
tongues, bud from bulb in sunny
Tomorrow the resurrection
light my lips and face. But tonight I wait
close to earth, a crocus fearing frost.
Copyright © 1999, 2000 by Jennifer Ley. All rights reserved.