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Best Famous Lisa Zaran Poems

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Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem


 It is later than late, 
the simmered down darkness 
of the jukebox hour.
The hour of drunkenness and cigarettes.
The fools hour.
In my dreams, I still smoke, cigarette after cigarette.
It's okay, I'm dreaming.
In dreams, smoking can't kill me.
It's warm outside.
I have every window open.
There's no such thing as danger, only the dangerous face of beauty.
I am hanging at my window like a houseplant.
I am smoking a cigarette.
I am having a drink.
The pale, blue moon is shining.
The savage stars appear.
Every fool that passes by smiles up at me.
I drip ashes on them.
There is music playing from somewhere.
A thready, salt-sweet tune I don't know any of the words to.
There's a gentle breeze making hopscotch with my hair.
This is the wet blanket air of midnight.
This is the incremental hour.
This is the plastic placemat of time between reality and make-believe.
This is tabletop dream time.
This is that faint stain on your mattress, the one you'll discover come morning, and wonder how.
This is the monumental moment.
The essential: look at me now.
This is the hour.
Isn't it lovely? Wake up the stars! Isn't it fabulous? Kiss the moon! Where is the clock? The one that always runs ahead.
The one that always tries to crush me with its future.
Originally published in Literati Magazine, Winter 2005.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran 2005

Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem

You Are The Mountain

 At one end of the couch
you sit, mute as a pillow
tossed onto the upholstery.
I watch you sometimes when you don't know I'm watching and I see you.
Who you are.
You are a self made man.
Hard suffering.
You are grey stone and damp earth.
A long scar on a pale sky.
The television is tuned to CNN.
The world's tragedies flicker across your face like some foreign film.
You are expressionless.
Your usual gestures ground to salt.
How do you explain yourself to people that do not know you? How do you explain to them, this is me; that is not me.
However many words you choose in whatever context with whichever adjectives you use could not compare.
Even you describing you would not be you.
Not totally.
Your hands are folded together, resting in your lap.
I study those hands until every groove becomes familiar.
Like a favorite hat, you wear your silence comfortably.
I sometimes can not help but wonder what we will talk about if we ever run out of things to say.
You are the curve I burrow into.
The strength I borrow.
You are the red sun rising over the mountain.
You are the mountain.
© 2002 Lisa M.
Zaran All rights reserved.
Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem


 She said she collects pieces of sky, 
cuts holes out of it with silver scissors, 
bits of heaven she calls them.
Every day a bevy of birds flies rings around her fingers, my chorus of wives, she calls them.
Every day she reads poetry from dusty books she borrows from the library, sitting in the park, she smiles at passing strangers, yet can not seem to shake her own sad feelings.
She said that night reminds her of a cool hand placed gently across her fevered brow, said she likes to fall asleep beneath the stars, that their streaks of light make her believe that she too is going somewhere.
Infinity, she whispers as she closes her eyes, descending into thin air, where no arms outstretch to catch her.
Originally published in Magaera, Spring 2005.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005
Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem

Love Is Believable

 love is believable 
in every moment of exhaustion 
in every heartbroken home 
in every dark spirit, 
the meaning unfolds.
in every night that sings of tomorrow.
in every suicide i carry deep inside my head.
in every lonely smile that plays across my lips.
love is believable i tell you, in every scrap of history, in every sheen of want.
what can be wrong that some days i have a tough time believing.
and in each chamber of my heart i pray.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2006
Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem

How We Are

 Pale scrapings of people 
with lipstick ringed glasses 
and cigarettes burning, 
and laughter trickling up and down 
their knotty throats.
What is this, a gathering of henhouse critics? My father's voice in the back of my head, saying, forget that I'm dead and if you can not do that than pretend.
I am standing just outside the gallery beneath the shadowy bough of a birch.
The moon is floating in the sky's dark lap.
Faraway I can hear the ocean sigh.
Now father, I am asking, what smile are you wearing? What color are your eyes again? How many teeth have you lost? Don't you think I want a kiss.
Perhaps I don't.
Perhaps I don't want to stand and pretend you not dead while the wet, champagne mouths of the living tell me how wonderful your paintings are.
As they crook their fingers and strain their necks, lose their vocabulary inside the artwork's depths and colors.
Father, I want your reputation to outlive the pursuits of others with their iron-on reviews after an hour's worth of browsing at a lifetime of your work.
Father, are you crying? Stop that sound.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005

Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem


 I went looking for God 
but I found you instead.
Bad luck or destiny, you decide.
Buried in the muck, the soot of the city, sorrow for an appetite, devil on your left shoulder, angel on your right.
You, with your thorny rhythms and tragic, midnight melodies.
My heart never tried to commit suicide before.
Originally published in Literati Magazine, Winter 2005 Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005
Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem

The Blues Are All The Same

 ~for Jackson C.
Frank It seems almost too far fetched really, too difficult to believe.
This unassuming moon shining like a copper plate.
These milkcrate blues.
This soft trellis of sound wobbling through the wind as if pouring out from the window of some lonely house on the hill.
How beautiful it is, the ghost of your voice, haunting this empty valley.
Originally published in 2River View 10.
1, 2005 Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005
Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem

Talking To My Father Whose Ashes Sit In A Closet And Listen

 Death is not the final word.
Without ears, my father still listens, still shrugs his shoulders whenever I ask a question he doesn't want to answer.
I stand at the closet door, my hand on the knob, my hip leaning against the frame and ask him what does he think about the war in Iraq and how does he feel about his oldest daughter getting married to a man she met on the Internet.
Without eyes, my father still looks around.
He sees what I am trying to do, sees that I have grown less passive with his passing, understands my need for answers only he can provide.
I imagine him drawing a breath, sensing his lungs once again filling with air, his thoughts ballooning.
Originally published in The Rose & Thorn, Summer 2004.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2004
Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem

Go On

 Born woman.
Go on.
It's farther than it seems, but okay.
Credit card's been stolen.
Go on.
Above all, remember, whenever you cry, husbands roll their eyes, and children worry.
Go on.
The father that was yours gets killed by a lung disease.
He loved you, at least you think so.
Go on.
Drink, smoke, do drugs.
Go on.
Drag your crippled bones to work.
Hate your boss behind her back.
Smile to her face.
Go on.
Don't eat.
Get fat.
Get skinny.
Go on.
Time fragments.
Space fractures.
Lives intersect.
Wombs bloom with new life.
Go on.
Hold on.
Originally published by Dicey Brown, Winter 2006 Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2006
Written by Lisa Zaran | Create an image from this poem


 All around me, the sky with its deep shade of dark.
The stars.
The moon with its shrunken soul.
Can I become what I want to become? Neither wife or mother.
I am noone and nobody is my lover.
I am afraid that when I go mad, my father will bow his downy head into his silver wings and weep.
My daughter, O my daughter.
Originally Published in The 2River View, 10.
1, 2005 Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005