Journals //


Collages of Contemporary Poetry

Jenna Cardinale










Many thanks to the editors of 6x6, Aught, horse less review, Milk Magazine, MiPOesias, Octopus Magazine, Parakeet, and Word For/ Word, who were kind enough to show interest in this project by publishing early versions of a number of these poems.






I have turned away

from using

heart grammar—


Bloom through

the belly— Another front

not a native—


Invention in

this— This

year is the flowering—


Insurance 2






Heat something worth preserving—

The development of natural—


Slowly little red— Less

and less in the womb— Stiff

in my brushes— Churn a ribbon



What happens

next is my giving—

Next is already—


American Letters & Commentary 15






Did Don Juan want

virgins who’d been ripped—

Pockets flirting, the feet



It feels good until you

feel— There’s a closet

in that—


Pom 2 2






My chest stops

you— It’s always been

the man falling—


Suffering that stays—

Arrangement of infinite—


The sun comes up

for anything— The window

and the history—


You have a single in—


1913 1






The cocktail hour

finally— Practice

for the palace—

My billfold full—

Even her lips

supply enough shock—

Open like an exit—


Columbia Poetry Review 16






The bottle still

reads “Drink Me”—

A ceiling looks

believable— Maybe

medicinal— A mouth



Washington Square 11






I cannot face this

puckered— The hardness

is getting— His hand

reached for my usual—


A dream repeats and becomes—


CALYX 17,1






Certain small lies

conceal the taste

of the drink— The suck

and settle— Excuses

still— Night fell

and I felt the man

felt like more—


Hanging Loose 81






Animate a stick—

Your teeth count &

recount— Know how to

drink his silver—


Somebody kissing



Matchbook 1






Tingling still from that— His first

wife’s walk— Hammer behind

the hammer— Buy her

a drink— Betray within

the hour—


Shapes taken— The habit

of hugging— The end

of a match— Right before

morning— My love for you

is half—


The Paris Review 112






Wives in

a horseshoe— His body

a stitch— The “bed” has been

such an anxiety— A monument

and more—


Swallow at all

talking— He gagged

on his first—


Both 1






The rose sniffing— Wives

pull red— White watching—


Stabbed fingers

wrapping— It gasps

whitest— Watched



My callousness a vinyl—


Beloit Poetry Journal 52,4






One moved to Boston

and married— The sun

bends to her in

a pleated wedding—


Rustle the cellophane—

Think of him lying— The glazing

slips— Keep a diary— A chorus

of tiny—


Great strides in

plastic— Open

the luxury— Opening

suggests a little— Swallow

a thing—


The guards have grown— He broke

down in the glowing—


Verse 19,3 / 20,1






The distance sleepwalking— Flickering in

that glimmery—


Lace curtains spurting— Dark

we can turn to—


The two of them already— Beautiful

as sky sauntering— See


fireworks without transforming—


Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art 36






The loveseat is silently

devouring— Decorated

with vulgar— Measure

and measure now

bottles multiplying— Walk

in on them—


Turnpike dropping



Octopus Magazine 1






A man and a woman

fall— Lie like



See yourself in



Diner 2,2






Late on lovely— The hospital

remembering— A continent

behind— The concrete

we tried to be—


Collision 2,2






Cheerful to this— The accidental

face— I think to avoid— Another

hour and a candy— You wear

nothing— A perfect egg

replicating— Hallelujah

is wasted—


My collection of

cut— Small flag waving— A brick

in a bag in a box— The zipper

that derails— Glass is

the absence—


How easily one empties

of good things— The knot

that is the noose— The last

time I held my breath—


Pool 1






The photo beaming— Women,

glossy diagrams— The chest

a futile show—


A cold cheek

listening— Smiles through

too much—


Beacon Street Review 13,2






Eve, on the other

hand, stands

to straighten


the idea of two—

The offer of opening

the offering of something


false— Her origin

as a rib lies undisturbed—

Maybe he has a favorite—


Good Foot 1






The cold breaks

loose— Sickness

we dare not



Ocean from a sneeze—

The while still

drying— It

and the collapse

of it—


Enter paradise

a little— Us

his diorama—


jubilat 6






Churches and shops flickering— War

buildings on— In the elevator



It’s always easy to spy

the emergency— Hints

wear tight clothes—








In my pocket

is one— It makes me

want— The river invades


tired roundness— Clamor on

the balcony— Grayer than

the driven— A slot machine’s




lyric 3






Lying in the middle

of the living—


Twilight on— Picture

through a glass—


The Twelfth Street Review 3,1






Walk onto my back— On the floor

pain dazzles— A girl

with salt— Ripping

through the falling—


All day under— Chewing

on thin— Dark walls

beating— A slash

of bright— Space

in a tiny part—


Make a brutal sound—


The window dismantles

the world—


Another Chicago Magazine 35






City of lighted rooms—

Big orchestras shrieking—

Let wrongs cut by the dying


ficus— Made in Texas, define me

as barbarian— Such good

proof— Untelevised executions—


I didn’t call you


little, a ruined thing

or a white flag—

Let the law come—


Skanky Possum 8






Think of something

political— The hawks

can have a clear

shot— An oasis

if you’re good—


Our connection made



The Literary Review 46,1






JFK interrupts

this— He didn’t want

to be survived— Sooner

or later ill—


A frame of

wind shifts— Never

leave home—


Salamander 7,2






Survivors don’t need

short dresses with

love— A rodeo

of slow— People

applauded this—


Thirty years of subtle,

and yet he was still—

Drunk in his midnight—

It bites like Wild—

Everything’s still going

to be—


The New York Quarterly 59






Spend all your time just

staying— It makes sense to

chain smoke— Your death


has made me

shade against the fading,

object to moving— The resentment

is shared—


The Manhattan Review 10,2






He whispered in the hospital—

A sigh taking

another sip— No response

I remember—


My mother heard in her hospital—

Her breathing drowns—

I translate into

a language I haven’t—


Tin House 1






The door or

maybe— A cushy private—


A hand hanging— Every time

you take—


A childhood of cracking—

Knives were talking

in that—


Sequins of salt—

That puddle belongs—


A good monster tries

to cry—


RHINO 2005






A mother put her hands

inside a shame

no one uses— The taut

surface of a dark— The coat

a caress—


The moment walking

toward me— Lines taken

from the flower— Florence

is such a satisfying—


Chelsea 72






The end of a road I like—

Combat now— Cigarettes

held in—


Results from an addiction— Alive

as a raisin— Light up


with tiny—


Saint Elizabeth Street 1






The window examining— The sky

hesitantly opens the cloud—


Blooming as always— Tiny

fists from milk—


Be this blue— Clouds are

my next—


Chicago Review 48,2/3






A handful of

white thickening with

yellow— Bare,

yellowed white—


Myself the shovel—


Asian Journal Winter 02.03






Survived even

childhood— The sound

of high tide shattering—

A field of broken—


The knife the ear is—


Precious little things

I hid in—


Denver Quarterly 35,4