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Issue 2.2

Summer 2022
2.2 Paula C

Paula Cisewski


Reading Diane Seuss’s Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, I became fascinated by
Ginsberg’s American sentence, and with how sentences become tangled in my ear.

American Tangle #3

          --after “Waterworks” by Allison Ruby

What a wall erected by people who don’t know themselves does is kill

Our grief a closed system recycles itself in the pipe labyrinths


Not solely a function of gravity grief is/is not according

to some functional what to do with my share of the secret keening


Twenty shot dead this side’s updated news outdated again again

We were just starting to feel improved to want for anything greening

Nothing exists there and not here grief sideless as if drywall knocked out

Who suggested we could grieve in neat sequence and put it behind us  

Hiding grief has injured my magic imagine it’s the same for you

This is my mourning your mourning our mournifesto with sledgehammer

Paula Cisewski's poetry collection, Quitter, won the Diode Editions Book Prize. She is also the author of The Threatened Everything, Ghost Fargo (Nightboat Poetry Prize winner, selected by Franz Wright), Upon Arrival, and several chapbooks, including the lyric prose Misplaced Sinister. She lives in Minneapolis, where she teaches writing privately and academically, makes things, and collaborates with fellow artists and activists. See more of her writing, collage work and printing at

Paula's Book Recommendations

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Crops

Emily Dickinson, The Gorgeous Nothings (Marta Werner and Jen Bervin, Eds)

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