CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Three Poems
Wendy Lotterman



Scatter Plot

My path is determined by invisible gold coins that rattle at the bottom of a moneybag until their volume becomes a ruby.
                Exchanged at the minimart for the ability to hurl apples.

At Bloomingdale’s I learn the appeal of concentric exits—heated vestibules inside a city inside December.

More importantly: uncontaminated opposites. One swirl of a wingspan separates each relative. What we get from auditorium seating, what we lose on birthdays and Rosh Hashanah.
                I find an inventory of disposable equations that I run through a childlike trial and error.
                Where confetti huddles for warmth inside a scatter plot.
.

Sometimes I lose the away games.
.

Nomenclature hops from one tangle to another.

I rub my eyes from the cat hair. An umbrella called:

SOLUTIONS THAT ARE REALLY PROBLEMS.

I look for more with this title, sending all shades of beige through a tan sedan down the cavity labeled              CARPOOL LANE.

Villi wave from the doorstep of every phenomenon, but are bulldozed by my thirst for affinity.
                I look for a kingdom and miss the division.
                I look for order and miss the family.

Pixels step up to the plate on which madeleines used to be served. It gives a feeling in the stomach. Inbox (#) FLASH theotherone says … An excitement in the form of a strobe light is delivered through my tab.

Like any timeless role, the actors flit in and out.
.

There is little to be said for having not said enough. Sunday is a soft drink weakened by melted ice cubes.

                       It regains a strength.








Chinese Checkers

It actually has more to do with what we were talking about earlier. Like I’m sipping some juice inside a diner, which I have just perfectly described, and then realize that I need to be in the Lego store to count the bumps, or collect the surfaces from a thousand other hallways because those are the ones that shrink obligingly around me like memory foam. The bad data pinches my injury. Think of the catalog these surfaces could give—so comfortable, speckled, we get embossed. Gather to flip through the album. Just look and what cheeks. All shed into this. Like any good host I duck away, letting the light hang on this visiting trivia. The lanky patience of lounging on deck chairs, or the hum inside your stomach when things are just fine. I tried so hard to drain cyan from the afternoon. A dotted line of eyes falls perfectly on the zigs and so none are the wiser that I dip as much as I don’t. Bluff of not my own. Washed up like it, right softened by seeing the way a generation before me is waning and I halt. The skin on my mom’s hand is too thin. Wrestle in it. Or depress. The original meaning of underdoggies, and the latent one of whatever. When I think about anything I think about thresholds. I stop to pace around the way I felt when we almost rented the house from the woman whose daughter just lost all her skin. The light felt like waiting rooms, and I wondered if the carpet in the bedrooms was full of her. Recently, I told Dana I liked her carpet because I didn’t, but I had to say something. This too is an album that I often forget. Certain clues tell me I’m losing currency. Nobody passes me the iPod in the car.









a place for drying fish, or laughter like coast

Strangers pronounced about me. Uncomfortable with the gall of this currency and the ancestors inked onto my tank top. Ancient alphabet, so frizzy as all beasts inside its climate. I hop in. The impulse to boundedness is so extreme that I watch Monica botch a relationship from the tropics. Chandler quippy. Howling, casual interiors. Familiar purple and the question of: HOW TO LIKE IT. Heavy downings, I’m sopping, and saved by the glitter I graze on the bottom of my backpack. That this fleck of tinsel could cross the planet, that it could remind me that I did. Now humid, hangering noneless on this porch. To be direct for a sec: I am miffed, as in any day the most to get is a half away. B’s drear sulks in dust-scale, and I’m baking. B is as pure as a scrimmage.
         —Not exotic enough.
         —But have you seen their teeth?
         —No, but have you seen their skirts?
         —Where is the jungle?
In Mandalay my umbrella and its groupies become, at this moment, one single bead of juice dripped from a grapefruit that I prepare for an audience. The impulse to boundedness is a suitcase; manners exit in bowlfuls. My moniker slapped onto homeward tics at every base I steal. Let’s take a look at preparations: the good tread, a liar, or Nikes aren’t nearly as flattering as they could be. So many reasons for feeling unable to want sex. In climes like these it is customary to kick backward. I buy a slushy.
         —The palace?
         —Seen it. Legs were killing me, but the camera died halfway through, so thank god.
Now on hot white bed with neon zigzagging across a banquet hall, or arcade, or I know not what in this neck of the whats. My stomach turns. How unbelievable to think I played hand games at summer camp and cried. What impatient warblers. What hand, so sanitized, now doubling over every shake? I read something frightening on the label. Fledgling in super-stroke, pulled by mother wave me through. Then a single tier of peers beads up where Ouija homes it. Which one is pushing these dandelions into a gutter? Which one is dealt the swollen hand we gawk at? The letters shuffle, apathetically, into an eerie posture at which we gasp.

And I tire of the pace. Sunk back to the math of it. That I can’t take from the shelf whenever I’d like. That I forget it.

TWO SCENARIOS:

Roadrunner smiles as he outruns the chase. He sprints off a cliff without realizing he lost traction. He looks down, sees no road, then plummets.

A human body is found in the street. An outline is drawn with chalk. Another outline is drawn around the outline with chalk. And another. And then maybe a dozen more. The last thing to be drawn in chalk is a circle.


A hint:
Too many pagodas.

And the debate around palindromes: Does the middleman see his double,
as in a mirror, stork-dropped for good keeping?


Wendy Lotterman is a poet and critic based in New York. Her poems can be found here, and her reviews for BOMB Magazine here.