Sunday Oct 22

newman.jpg Amy Newman is the author of fall, Camera Lyrica, Order, or Disorder, and two chapbooks, BirdGirl Handbook and The Sin Sonnets.  Recent poems appear in The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and Narrative Magazine.  She teaches at Northern Illinois University and edits Ancora Imparo, the online journal of art, process, and remnant.

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Japonica Rationalizes the Possibility of a Heaven
 
 
If heaven is white and not madness
then the sky would refract such clarity blue.
 
If there is heaven and not wild, unrelenting nothing,
japonica can wait in nervous peace.
 
If it is possible to enter the kingdom of such unmadness
then why not? If heaven is truly hovering and not dishonest.
 
All right so there. Japonica can wait.
So therefore the patience and tenacity can seem invasive.
 
The archetypal sea green japonica weary and insistent
laying out runners for something’s sake.
 
Enthusiastic sea green japonica with numerous fragrant
ornamental seeming to love the world blah blah.
 
As it chokes the ground because it can
so why not try to cover every square foot.
 
Don’t lay your metaphors on Japonica.
I cover every last possible word and deed
 
and volley forth with the blossom to get you-know-what
from You-Know-Who and get it done.
 
Requesting through transpiration the love note back.
Revealing through blossom the formula of yes.
 
Bestowing the hope of yes indeed to the dumb sucking root.
Why not body forth out of the desire to be blessed?
 
The origin of ache in a whorl of petal and reddish fruit.
Glossy, growing easily on graves because why not?
 
In spring a burst of absolute certainty suspended,
followed by misgivings, then: dumb, numerous blooms.

 
 
 
The Space of Whether God Exists
 
 
I want perfection, but the flesh resists.
The garden tulips wrenched out by mischief
into the space of whether God exists.
 
Carnelian tulips rise in softened fists,
their petals bruised to brilliance in the leaf.
I ‘d love perfection, but the flesh resists.
 
Red mouths undo engagements with a kiss
(mouths apple-red, cliché as Eden-grief)
into the space of whether God exists.
 
A metaphor, the tulip’s short-term bliss?
Exhausted petals: Eve’s undone motif.
I’d love perfection—but the flesh resists,
 
and tulips grow to ruin, and life insists.
Bulbs sleeping underground for this burst brief
into the space of whether God exists.
 
I haven’t used the rhyme-word atheist.
Lord, I believe; Help me Thou my unbelief.
I ‘d love perfection but the flesh resists
into the space of whether God exists.