Poem of the Week: December 14th, 2014

Our poem of the week, another of our Pushcart Prize nominees, was written by Alexander Lumans. He is currently the Spring 2014 Philip Roth Resident at Bucknell University. His poem, “What We Don’t Know About Natalie Portman Can Still Hurt Us” is from Volume 3, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT NATALIE PORTMAN CAN STILL HURT US
By Alexander Lumans

Natalie Portman is a calving glacier. She is not
               long for the world before she turns
               a series of colorful, textbook evaporations.
And rumor has it
               she was once an invasive school of Asian carp,
but she kept landing facedown in our ice chests.     Twice,
                    she made a living
by selling those silver collector spoons – who doesn’t
have this empty space inside his heart? In the eye of the storm?
               Natalie Portman is No Man’s Land.
And those ambient sound players –
                         the kind with settings like “Whales”
                    and “Whales Talking”
and “Whales Talking about How They’re Suprprised
that We (Humans) Know that They (Whales) Can Talk”?
               -that’s her.
And me? I was born too late with the distinct desire
                    to collect all things porcelain:
                         1) Dolls
                         2) Natalie Portman’s zygomatic bone
                         3) Butter dishes
Naturally, I found my way back to the sea, only to find it
               had risen. And was backward.
                                        I blame her.
               O Natalie, no one knows where the afterlife starts,
only that we’re always tacking in that one direction,
               chewing gum that’s just lost its cotton candy flavor.
Come winter, you detect a lot of buzz with a lot of info
                                                  that’s not right.
The truth about Natalie Portman is that her heart is growing
               on the outside of her body.           I believe this is it.
Too dangerous to do anything around here but stay the same.
               Having once been startled by the line
                                   “the sight startled him,
like a drawer flung open to an intimacy of spoons,”
I had three hundred questions.     Namely, is “intimacy”
a hive term – as in a pod of cetaceans
                                        or a 16-piece dinnerware set
               of Aegean Mist? Second: why am I all of a sudden
crying?           She is a glass-bottom boat.
               A thousand thousand years ago
Natalie turned to ice. Watch closely as I extract a core sample.


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