Two poems by Marina Blitshteyn

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gold heart

I’m glad you’re glad, you had
a hearing to, you gave a girl
heaps and tears to glean from,
turned her milk to gall, all god
and glory, treat her glass
like a gland, its delicate hurts,
fill it or dangle it around,
you tear your goals out,
it grows on you, hear her
clearer now, cold shoulder,
told her you’re tired of her,
hold your ground, don’t tread
high waters, dare her, dare
trying it over and over, hold
over till a halo opens, hopeless,
till you hate her all over, till
it’s all over, topless and
cold, at the tail end of her ropes,
the start of her gold rush, though,
trust yourself, really, lover, go
truly through your heart, tread
slowly and whole, your architecture
rears its ugly head, its low arches,
its rotted trails, thoroughly
huddle there, harboring no
ill will or grand lords, no
glued up doors to your heart or
gilded bearings


Honor (for Z)

a man of or man of the hour (-no-)
born(-e) to be to one’s family
or to be held in (cradled – coddled –
candled) in and of the dead
such he has earned his position of

thy father, thy mother
give(-n), gave (-r-)
have(-n), haven (-e-)
an invitation

of or for (your judges)

kindly: be on / upon one’s own
likely: to do to, would do to
ma(i)nly: do them at the family dinner

Marina Blitshteyn is the author of Russian for Lovers (Argos Books). She thanks Myung-Mi Kim at SUNY Buffalo for introducing her to Zukofsky’s work.