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Harriet Zinnes

Time (Pantoum) | After Duchamp | Orchestra

The following three poems by Harriet Zinnes have been published in her l996 volume of poems, My, Haven't the Flowers Been? [by Magic Circle Press, P. O. Box 1123, Bozeman, MT 59771.] Harriet Zinnes, professor emerita of English of Queens College of CUNY, is the author of seven collections of poetry, a volume of short stories, Lover (Coffee House Press, l989 and the forthcoming The Radiant Absurdity of Desire (Avisson Press, l998), a book of translations from the poetry of Jacques Prevert, Blood and Feathers (Schocken, l988 but published in a new edition by Moyer Bell, l993), a book of art criticism (Ezra Pound and the Visual Arts, New Directions, l980). She has been a Visiting Professor of American Literature at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and has taught at the Universities of Oklahoma and Rutgers. She has been a resident fellow of Yaddo, MacDowell, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Cassis (France), and Djerassi. She has received awards from the City University for short stories and poetry, a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies and has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes for poetry and fiction and was a semi- finalist in the Poets' Prize competition of the Roerich Museum. A literary and art critic, she has been published in such magazines and newspapers as The Nation, American Poetry Review, Hollins Critic, Agni, New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, New Letters, Choice, American Scholar, Chelsea, Parnassus, Weekly Tribune (Geneva), Philadelphia Inquirer, Southern Review, Connecticut Review, etc. She now lives in New York City.

Time (Pantoum)

I will lie down beside you.
It will be for just a moment.
We will hear the far off Concorde.
Light snow will fall.

It will be for just a moment
As all sweetness is.
Light snow will fall
While we both lie very still.

As all sweetness is
Our rest will be painful.
While we both lie very still
The sun will go down.

Our rest will be painful.
Our hands will not touch.
The sun will go down.
We will hear the clock ticking.

Our hands will not touch.
Our bodies will be rigid.
We will hear the clock ticking.
We will hear the cat purring.

Our bodies will be rigid.
We will hear the far off Concorde.
We will hear the cat purring.
I will lie down beside you.

After Duchamp


"The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even"

The word stripped bare by greed [y poetasters] serves the Nine
Bachelors.
The Bride, invisible (permanently) chants her measureless song under the
hot sun.
When the farmer awakes, he hears the crow. He runs out with his stick
and beats the picket fence three times.
The Bride (invisible) watches. The Nine Bachelors emit a gaseous stink.
Reason settles and throws a pink veil across the Milky Way.
For nothing the farmer flailed the crow (the fence), even.

Orchestra

I have a place to rest!
My hand upon yours.
I have a place to hide.
My hand under yours.

All the little people in our blood
Play games then
And sing and dance.

Our skin takes the cue!
It becomes an orchestra.

The audience goes wild.
The audience that watches
In those secret places.

Copyright © 1996 by Harriet Zinnes. All rights reserved.

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