Wednesday Nov 29

OlsteinLisa Lisa Olstein is the author of Radio Crackling, Radio Gone, (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) winner of the Hayden Carruth Award; Lost Alphabet (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), a Library Journal best book of the year; and Little Stranger (Copper Canyon Press, 2013), a Lannan Literary Selection. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Centrum. She is the lyricist for Cold Satellite, a rock band fronted by acclaimed songwriter Jeffrey Foucault. The band’s first record, Cold Satellite (2010) was ranked #1 on Greil Marcus’ Real Life Rock Top Ten list in The Believer. She teaches in the MFA programs at the University of Texas at Austin. Find her website here.

Nothing Good Gets Away

Shitty little mockingbird
on the parking lot cell phone
tower, we’ll take it, your flashes
of bright white. We know all about
bowers and their blue obsessions,
crows and their shiny. There’s
a girl flickering across the news
some murder brings presents to.

She’s not dead, she’s not even sick
yet. Arrow hugging sign-pocked
rooflines, once upon a forest
we modeled trajectory on your
shooting flight, then positioned
our guns to put you in their sights.

Severe Clear

Now the storms hit daily
striking like horses hooves
against the soft side of town
the tender knees of town
knees that buckle town that burns.
Wispy from a distance
like the smoke children beg
from behind a magnifying glass

from before an ant’s blackening
back. With this whistle and
the clouds breaking I sound like
a female ptarmigan on the third day
of her search. Is this us huddling?
Are these our fires?

Look Not at What You Might Hit but at the Space into Which You’re Trying to Captain Your Ship

It was something like a dream:
I looked for you and I looked
much too terribly long. Something
like when a train blows steam enough
to call the clouds down. We pay
great chefs to concoct memories for us,
to make us remember what once
we something like were, or had,

but foamed air only reminds us
you can’t eat nothing and expect to
sleep through the night. Vermont once
shone lemon through your hair. When
I close my eyes I can make it back to
the barn but where have the horses gone?