Paula Cisewski and Sarah Fox Poems




Beginning the Fast by Paula Cisewski


Call this era the New Somberness.

Call it Ghastly Lighting.

Call this era There’s an Antique

Mall In My Heart.


When I was more certain,

more self-assured,

I was more

of an ass, true. But


I didn’t ask permission to hunker

down under a day (pleeease)

the size and usefulness

of a white elephant.



Oh honey please! I must

go more bravely. This

crouching doesn’t count.


As if I am made with a glass handle

And all the world wants to lift my lid.

Call this era Liberating My Idiom.

Call it Nothing. Not even hunger.


I have been a traveling salesman afraid

to look in my own suitcase!

I have had the best things happen to me!

There is something left to be desired!


Oh, honey, what an ass.

Call this era Ode to Scissors.

Call it Learn to Make My Own Fun.

I keep a box of broken habits under my bed


for sentimental reasons. Call it Mustering

the Courage to Set the Box on Fire.






Beginning the Fast translated into Dear Omnivore by Sarah Fox


I call you: Ode To Ass.

Atop the food chain

I was more bravo.

I was more crouching,

mere Nothing.

Then this ghastly fast.

Eating is a simple matter

bred by a big brain. I was a glass

egg afraid to hunker down

under the size and usefulness

of my own idiom.


Can you defy centuries-old

food adventures, suspend

them on a body made in America?

To begin something heartful

produced by abundance—

portable, pleasing, a certain self.

I ask permission of the world

to travel in my own suitcase.

To be something to be

desired, surviving. Okay?

I call this: Era Of True Ass.


I crouch in my antique idiom,

obsessed with getting.

I call it: Fire Under The Bed.

Some thing hunkers down in no thing,

not hunger, not quite collapsible body.

More liberal, like fire-under-my-ass.

My diagnosis built me a ladder and

habit sheds light on a lack of steadying.

The world and its days surrender

themselves to the size

of a finished meal.


I fast bravely for sentimental reasons

towards the size and usefulness

of my ass. It’s an antique form of fun

despite the days’ hundred acres

crouching in a night breeze

like a traveling salesman calling

everyone “Honey,” saying, Please

desire that white elephant, desire my ass!

(no stanza break)


Call it: You Are Where You Eat.


I call this: World Won’t Permit.

As if lifting the lid, taking a shears

to the very best things counting

One White Elephant, Two White Elephant.

A plot of green for a flavorful egg.

I am called “The Size of Something to be Desired.”

It’s an ass idiom. Honey, the world is an ass!


There was this ghastly fast.

My dwindling ass, my world

more nothing, more clipped grass,

as the days pass and break.

I crouch in my own suitcase.

The best things happen there.

I call this: Window On Fire.

I call this: Begin, Heart.





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