Daily Postings
Literature : first proof

Three Poems

by Karen Lepri

Toilet Paper, January 2011. Concept and images by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari. All images printed by permission of the publisher, Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art. Distributed by ARTBOOK | D.A.P.


We begin here near Times Square
You shaking me looking at her or her
Shaking you looking at you and me looking
We kick over arrangements of broken glass
Collected from the gutters of the roads
Converging here amid the lights of early night
Commit to a mess there will never be enough
To go around or excuses to braid into breath
Mid-intersection the giant whelk gives birth
To smaller ones who also give birth right there
The honking and the flashes of cameras
We are trapped with our street ephemera
In our hands our hands bleeding holding back
Our heads as if our heads were bleeding all along
Had it not been for the sea-live birth show
All the people would pay attention to the color
Running down our skins



Looped finger
          Lateral up & over
These trick roots

          Yanked hair it was
Like she was hung
          Of a sudden

Unmarked tomb
          Cheap gasps
Keeping on in coming

          Bottled rose
For waking up
          When carbon drops

Prepped hurricane
          Her thick lair
Unlike words the through-oh

          Rapid beats
These hands insisting
          Not a pronoun noun


Feigned Psychosis

Would work like this
Twittering cold &
Dune spree shoeless
Hiding underwater
Bonfire the books
& notebooks & blanks
Any record of knowing
Freud, Lacan, dust
Rub my hands raw
On the clothesline
You wouldn’t tell
You’d be committed
My fantasy capture
Lacking animo
A return to fucking
Regularly blinds up
Deckhand for life
Have you made dough
Day honey jar it
Some abuse choired
Or a low iron diet
Use the pink tape
Trip layer please
Don’t make me tell


Karen Lepri is the author of Incidents of Scattering (Noemi, 2013) and the chapbook Fig. I (Horse Less Press, 2012). She received the 2012 Noemi Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in 6x6, Boston Review, Chicago Review, Conjunctions, Lana Turner, Mandorla, and elsewhere. Lepri teaches writing at Queens College CUNY.

Experimental writing