Three Poems by Linnea Ogden

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Jenna Westra

Jenna Westra. Zero Intermediary, 2015, gelatin silver fiber print. Courtesy of the artist.

The Way We Did It Was

“Going through something” 
As though a spaceship made of marsh gas
Hovered overhead
The work of a moment mildewed
Along the edge
The press bed’s relenting skin
Sick at throat with hibiscus
Or rose hips
Our digressions
Black houses on a black street, hanging 
Over dog-pawed ground

Edward Wilson (2)

There is distance down. A sounding. As the anchor falls. There is distance from
the last landmark. New Zealand or Cape Town. The defunct hut of last year’s party.
To the man next to me. From the edges of my sleeping bag. There is longitude.
Temperature and ice crystals. But whatever else to measure and notate

there’s God and may he be pleased. With me and my body. So fit and full of cocoa.
Spent forenoon drawing dolphins. The afternoon in skiing. The Owner and I
hiked up to the point. Discussed how we must not lose the men. Or ponies.
The dog I found. Covered in seal blood. Three months later. Bad for the seals.

And from the moon. Much closer in the winter. Which is to say summer for all you
dear people. Back home whose light makes a cross. Is a pattern of expanding.
Circles which make way for the Aurora. Usually lemon yellow. A kind of sun
replacement. Though seal fat for breakfast makes us shine bright enough.

Ways of Looking at My Gender

Like a toad describing warts there are things 
I can’t quite reach
My bride is a fetish and also a friend

More excited about a parking spot and a ripe banana 
than a richly theoretical text
I still underline like I’m qualified to offer advice to people of color

Imagine a blue window in the middle of your forehead
Mine shows a cold beer in a wide-mouth Mason jar
blinking like a broken neon sign

I don’t feel sorry for myself
but I do wish some authors 
would write more trilogies

The sun just makes me tired 
The position of the average human 
is a shadow territory where they ought to be

Surrounded by the rung metal of roadworks
In early morning filthy calm I gather too-small paper clips 
to clip unwieldy stacks of essays

What a rush to be near your phone when I leave messages
Self-pity is a window into real space and
flesh is weaker than the flesh

but given a chance light catches on the least pen stroke
I push someone on the bus until the bus moves forward into the rain
carries speech with our sticky thighs

Linnea Ogden lives in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in Conduit, Boston Review, DIAGRAM, and typo.

For more photography by Jenna Westra, visit her site here.

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