Odd

A hunger
given a house

A creature
harsh
after its home
was cut

Into flowered blood
into earthly food

And heartbreak

The above poem is an erasure of Margaret Hunt’s 1884 translation of “God’s Food” from Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm.

Jade Riordan’s poetry has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, CV2, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Outrageous Fortune, Room, and elsewhere. She lives north of Canada’s 60th parallel and volunteers as a selection committee member (poetry reader) with Bywords.

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Statue and the Sea

I am the splitting image of a window
setting into the sea;
rooms within
dark behind the swelling reflections
(and lamp-less from dreaming).

The horizon is sinking too;
it leaks across the road home
and laps at the front stoop.
I bolt the door out of necessity
(today, safe from the vast sky).

In the museum, the statues
cover themselves with dust
cloths like we ought
to save this life for later.
(A civilization is remembered,
in part, for its art, is it not?)

But first, I must forget, must
slide off the earth all skin and
bone, all transparent against
the star-wrought gates of space.
The ebbing reflections follow:
insubstantial ghosts without
memories to tether them.

And now, drifting closer
to the parallel world that orbits
our sun, (a world measured
in nights,) I find myself
somewhere in between:
an almost place.

Here, landscapes painted
from the eyes of the beholden.
Gravity: a rock steady in the rapids.
And river: a horse, or chariot,
or absolutely essential. Statues
as artists and the person that I once was
a window. The sea reflecting
and reflecting and reflecting.

Jade Riordan’s poetry has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, CV2, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Outrageous Fortune, Room, and elsewhere. She lives north of Canada’s 60th parallel and volunteers as a selection committee member (poetry reader) with Bywords.

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Inverse of a Whistle

Daylight hangs the trees’
shadows back above the skyline,
their branches nestling in the places
where the light pools.

In between the absolutes
of life and its steady bend
towards the ground once again:
this is where we string power lines.
This is where we give the bruised space
that we call a sky definition, borders,
someplace to exist in peace.

A place to stand and whistle
to the chickadees, like northern
lights far above, asking them
to draw nearer, to trap
our silhouettes in their beaks.
We request that the horizon
be decorated
            with the thought of us.

And yes,
yes, meaning that you and I
grow soft and edgeless against
this flattened uncertainty of a sky.

The light pools in us, forms
a conviction. We absorb it,
selves the inverse of a whistle.
Thus, we are called closer.

Thus, we become
a dance. A distance.

An (un)expected disappearance.

Jade Riordan’s poetry has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, CV2, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Outrageous Fortune, Room, and elsewhere. She lives north of Canada’s 60th parallel and volunteers as a selection committee member (poetry reader) with Bywords.

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Monarch Portrait

And please | if we were to do this
over again | how many branches
would you break from beneath
the morning birds’ feet | (only
to keep sleeping) | ?

a butterfly paints a butterfly
with dust | the garden falls
around our heads | sparkling
in
   its
      descent |

we fall too | the heat sits heavy
handed on our shoulders | blades
of sunlight crisscross the afternoon
and slice us into flower petals | into
leaves |

so we plant tennis rackets and dice
the day too | square the remains
of butterflies into (self-)portraits and |
paint the garden back to living | back
to sleep | (back to us) |

Jade Riordan’s poetry has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, CV2, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Outrageous Fortune, Room, and elsewhere. She lives north of Canada’s 60th parallel and volunteers as a selection committee member (poetry reader) with Bywords.

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Forearm Fracture

Forearm fracture like sidewalk crack,
like walk anywhere long enough
and the place becomes a part of you.

Landscape gypsum white,
the whole world a broken bone;
all we know immobilized;
all we know plaster of Paris stilled.

Six weeks later, picking flowers.
Baby’s breath, baby’s first breath.
You hold a bouquet: a concert, or
cloud fallen to earth, or miracle—
a part of you
like breathing.

Jade Riordan’s poetry has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, CV2, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Outrageous Fortune, Room, and elsewhere. She lives north of Canada’s 60th parallel and volunteers as a selection committee member (poetry reader) with Bywords.

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The Sculpted

Call it what you will:
habit, reflex, muscle memory.
The body is still clay
by any other name.

River, horse, hands: still dreams
despite evidence to the contrary.
It’s all speculative, of course.
(The evidence or the dream?)

But how could I, malleable as I am,
prove this water was tipped from
the sky? Prove this stable an empty
house? These hands, buried in the dirt,
just remnants of erosion?

And how could you, all withheld
information and late-night rousing,
be the time, the weather, the memory
by every other voice calling?

Jade Riordan’s poetry has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, CV2, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Outrageous Fortune, Room, and elsewhere. She lives north of Canada’s 60th parallel and volunteers as a selection committee member (poetry reader) with Bywords.

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Portland Sonnet

I watch a homeless man grab,
with his bare hands,

all the hotel’s gluten-free banana cake.
I’m having so much fun, he says.

Sidewalks of tents,
and pots and pans in shopping trolleys.

I raise my Dossier Hotel umbrella,
a homeless man claps.

If I don’t get the sheets changed
I get vouchers for the bar.

I watch TV – Pioneer Woman’s
cooking pork-loaded baked beans,

for her ranch of kids,
with names like Chuck.

Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana began speech and drama lessons from age 5, which probably triggered her love of poetry. In 2018, she was shortlisted for the Fish Publishing Poetry Prize. She has appeared in print and online in Snakeskin, Eunoia Review, Typishly, Silver Needle Press, Streetlight Magazine and Mothers Always Write.

This March she performed a sequence of poems at the AWP Conference, in Portland, as part of the Voices from Tennessee event, as a contributor of Silver Needle Press.

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