Care for What You Happen to Have—There Is Nothing to Lose
So what if your beloved has died or moved away, your possessions repossessed for what you cannot pay. As long as your breath’s chest falls then rises: Go. Water the ferns of the brood you’re in. Groom your fussy griffon. Smooth your rugose skin. Voyage to that Dead Sea inn where all your past lovers exfoliate and float away. What you have is what you seek— what you failed to find, let be another’s gold-mire. Observe the blue dragon may be purple-winged. And that peach pie you’ve been saving for guests: Stick two forks in. Now go call your son.—from Manual for Living (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016), copyright © 2016 by Sharon Dolin. All rights reserved.
80 pages; $15.95
Desire and the Lack
When I lacked desire my love unlatched his key from me and soon I lacked a lackey. Deserted, unstirred, to no sir inured. Once lacking , desire grew for a sire. Now desire what I lack am nearly lack- luster, abandoned, conspire with abandon for the bandoneon player—layer-on of love and blandishments. There is an ache in lack when I wake on my back oh what I lack: a sharp ach! What song more plaintive than the lone key of me? The moan key of monkey me to let go desire? What ire is higher than to find a liar where I had once been desired. (now deserted, de-sired) my unplucked heart lyre in the dawn wind ready to be strummed into fire.—from Whirlwind (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012), copyright © 2012 by Sharon Dolin. All rights reserved.
88 pages; $15.95
Ghazal without the Man
You started out gangly, wrangling without the man. Now you can't remember angling without the man. Winter of frozen cherries matted in his beard, Spring buds in hair tangling without the man. Go. Drive a car, the weather wanders you. Life's a zoo, stroke pangolin without the man. Flux redux, can't undo. No mournful piccolos. Such stuff as we are: Philandering without the man? In Berkeley women loved women, men themselves. Hard to play it straight, gamboling without the man. Books inscribed, kisses under sheets––lost things landslide. Oh, turn not morose, memories dangling without the man. What if, after all is bled and flung, it won't add up? Don't be so sure you can handle it without the man. Sleepwalking roofs––you never were that sort. Picked up, the pieces mangling without the man. Got floaters in the eyes, water on the knees. Getting older––still newfangling without the man. Adrift yet moored, unfocused––is this how it'll end: Your name's spelled mandolin without the man.
—from Burn and Dodge (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008), by Sharon Dolin, © 2008. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
The Problem of Desertion
occurs when time feels like space and the dead are stuck on shore while we the living kneeling in our form- fitted canoes paddle on the lake into years past trees whole rivers of lily pads and reeds and all they do like the loon's echoing call on the farthest shore is recede recede.
—from Realm of the Possible (Four Way Books, 2004),
copyright © 2004 by Sharon Dolin. All rights reserved.
86 pages; $14.95
Four Way Books
Brillantined hair in yoke-colored light fathomed to a dizzy blur we reach and reach round for- getting beginnings imply endings we are suddenly all middle molten kinesis spiked with a surety that doesn't bother knowing its name if ecstasy were a color this would be its bulls- eye the place in the fire where glass learns form from formlessness and what are we but delight coining each other's eyes a whirling tunnel of startling entrances spun from light
—from Serious Pink (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003),
copyright © 2003 by Sharon Dolin. All rights reserved.
72 pages; $15.00
Marsh Hawk Press
Piazza dei Cavalli Marini
Let the setter fetch the pine cone mid–fountain let my toes drop into a cool pool to lure me to stay and stay in the Villa Borghese and not go down into the burning trafficked sea. If this morning the ecstasy of Theresa lasted only five minutes before the porter began tamping out the candles and ordered, All out, so be it; so did mine. Easier To imagine the boy angel with his arrow flinched withdrawing into a horny smirk—his wings, stone feathers— as if he were about to re–attack—or pinch— her in a swoon that had already transported her––forever with stone–closed lids––as I, by these thrashing horses, homed both legs into the cold sun of here, now, Rome.
—from Heart Work (Sheep Meadow Press, 1995),
copyright © 1995 by Sharon Dolin. All rights reserved.
The Sheep Meadow Press