Lisa Cattrone: Five Poems


Rocket or proposition
if there is nothing left to think about

and a million poppies
and a reddish sun

and a million white moths at night.
If a type of hair came down from said “sun”

and moved a Mars-like dust around the moths.
If yellow statues with pipes

and lights in their heads bleed out into
modicums of featureless extremities

when we were tired of the world
and seasons of tropes or corradiation.

If nothing is diamond-cut or thought on the mouth.
If sexual myths are moving under money.



Then the sun is money.
Think nothing of the fuck you said!

Oh humanity asymptote and resources
and the world wouldn’t have it any other way.

There is an eye for every finger
all bulging from the neck

purple around the lips and eyes and
encircled by dark shapes against the tundra.

Then said “sun” has made a type of staircase
and the fire is still money for the millionth night

as though there were a Martian sun
and a million and one poppies.

Then the mind will always say “then,” as it
follows or launch.



I wonder what would have happened
if the Dream Songs were written by a woman

instead of John Berryman. What
would have been the reception? The analysis?

And when she jumped from a bridge
in that one poem, caterpillars

covering a zodiac of leaves.
Splash in light sleep (sic) distortion

from heaven! The bright light of facsimile
blows the constellated wind around

pitch black crow-masks then vivisections
predicate, not the sound

shifts in coordinates. Point
to the one that is really there



Someone has finally made a perfect mirror.

bronze ephebe, so to speak
white feathers slick with blood down his sides

like 2 forks arranged on a table-
from heaven! The bright light of facsimile

and thunder in oblong waves at the surface,
on the canopy, of the perimeter, sets of tables,

dactyls arranged, diptych
folding through the motions – so much air

creates a cloud where there isn’t one? Biunivocal?
Berryman’s Berryman. When

she dreams in repetitions
make no difference of what happens.



department. My own two hands
that form the cusp for an owl’s profile

in the dircec
vision of my

other’s aph
stones of m

mother’s aphid stones department. Rose
quartz department. Eyes

never formed there
or image in the firs 

operating on air, the
pulsation of lighthouses

and the second, still
the first, neither with

vacancy nor the
ability to grasp

or nameless
when your

mother mother

These ghosts twist
and crawl ov

walls of
but never materialize.

History has not yet
produced a large

enough bird for that.
We look for them in

the measurm
of our words

and so



Poetic Statement

Some of these poems are part of the first installment of a longer study of how our language is structured with hidden coordinates which create the maps of our understanding. It is called Lyric Shape Installment #1. This exercise is a geometric experiment with lyric to challenge the shapes of our thoughts, the dimensions of our thoughts and ultimately, by doing so, challenge the frustratingly, never fully realized, completion and manifestation of a feminist collaboration of interconnected thought. In a Deleuzian “occult thought” attempt, I went with a smaller, finite structure (a loose, unrhymed sonnet) in order to break apart, burgeon and reconnect in a differential unconscious of psychic understanding. To forge initial productions of shapes, the coordinates are written in pairs like most coordinates on a plane, writing the second in reference to the first. Many of the poems also cross reference at coordinate intersection points with other poems (sometimes crossing with 3 or 4 other poems), usually in reverse (I’m dyslexic so that worked better for me, but also made sense in terms of how a coordinate map works),referring back to various other planes to try and think in connections greater than two planes (greater than just x and y, where most of our thinking tends to stop in terms of gender and so our greater model of thought). I tried to add more dimensions of interconnectivity to forge the shapes on which events of new understanding and discovery could occur for me as a writer. I don’t expect a reader to discover every nuance and connecting point of how I wrote these, it was more just for me to see what I could discover and then present that discovery to the reader. I did find some interesting interactions and discovered some connections I wouldn’t have guessed. The element that made this different than a mathematical exercise for me was that most connections and ideas were generated through intuition.

In general, I don’t think of writing in a subject/object dimension of lyric production, however I believe in lyric as the mysterious element that connects us to our intuition. Our intuition is not an individual experience nor is it one or two dimensional. I just feel lyric has more dimensions than we’ve so far been willing to utilize. Most of the poems I write either drag across each other creating new poems, hide part of the poems in dimensions not on that plane, braid up with one another or rearrange each other, etc. When they are not doing that in a concrete sort of way, they are in their backstage production. I feel poetry is not an art form, it’s a form of thinking. It’s our job to create new pathways.



155822_10200332342017818_2094152352_nLisa Cattrone received her BA in philosophy and MFA in poetry from Saint Mary’s College of California. She has work most recently or forthcoming in Volt, Gulf Coast, The Claudius App, The Denver Quarterly, Fourteen Hills, EOAGH, West Wind Review, The Volta and Scythe. A manuscript was recently selected as a finalist for Kelsey Street Press’ Firsts first book contest and her chapbook Mutations for Jenny is forthcoming from Horse Less Press. She has 2 small children.

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