Bernadette Mayer


Neighbors With Unseen Farms

for Bill and Helen Green


we were having a dry spell

but often it's

"it's raining again"

so like sex we worry that

the gods are punishing us

but then daffodils, first crocuses

the periwinkles help atone

for the sins of the mammalian

again, anybody home?

will you seed clouds for sex?

I will leaf through this book for you

sit on this bench while I do, you

want a grilled cheese?




Sonnet: Basil, Oregano, Lovage

with Cliff Fyman and Philip Good


I watched a pot and the water did boil!

We're waiting to boil the soon-to-be-slithery spaghetti

Cliff did chop and even perhaps broke a sweat

The basil is thriving where we live, we're scissoring leaves into red sauce

Not without beautiful tomatoes and homegrown corn in waiting

I'm hungry let's have stuffed radicchio appetizers, and the CD plays

"Funky, funky Liza from New Orleans dances all night in tight blue jeans…"

She eats pasta and beans

I feel that it seems to mean…

We think of you Don Yorty in China where you leave your chest print

on the red morning soil

A little river is something to see and the water isn't yellow is it?

Boiling water is something to see; "Zydeco" is not in the dictionary


Finally the warm meal is ready and

The beginning of our meal is the end of this heady poem