Noelle Kocot




That will never happen. You just grew all

Funny. And the faint atmosphere, and the

Moods of nature, and the dropped moon

Spell dimension, purpose, all safely pronounced


By their proper names. As literal as we are,

These excursions on the frightened earth

Let us fall into our dreams again, and the

Polite shadows slide into our ancient thoughts


Like lullabies. The pots and pans, my eyes

Touched by my hair, what, you won’t “love

Me”?  I move the sidewalks around. I take

The next exit to blank time. Now, sitting alone


For a moment, I catch a movement of this

Universe. It’s just some sunlight filtering in.




Frailty, who could add anything?

The white-tailed hawk circles in the


Sky, the sky adds its heat to the difficult

Morning. Writing poetry is easier


Than living. We’ve all been added,

Double-stained, faded, and I’m here,


And I do not time what is mortal.

The heart hiding beneath a sleeve,


We are ruled by limit, but also beauty,

And the mercurial glass dreams of


Permanence. Come alive in these

Arms and lines, and the marvelous


Energy you can barely touch is not

Impossible. There is a new way of


Walking in this world, and the waves

And gestures prove continuous. Enlarge


Me, give me an assignment. When I

Look into my cup today, I see only ash.




Rebirth dragging itself across a mind-space,

An ecstatic, gluttonous coming down. The

Sketches and photos fill up the floor, their

Seamless edges are not an extravaganza. And


If heaven petered out above us, if one bird

Sang, the soul-light peeking through the trees

Would not be abject. Seeing as to what is

Formless, tail lights beaming, this world will


Only belch us like the makers of Twinkies.

Kittens in the wilderness, what is honorable is

Only the translation of gone beyond. Redolence

Of an old aunt’s house teeming with mothballs,


We bid good riddance to the fugue, and smell

What flowers in the natural, the real, the really real.




Our lady of dual consciousness, fumbling

Around for your ascension, what happened

To that swan in the little liquor store? That

Is far away. Nowadays, there are a lot of


Surveys, but I don’t answer. Like a frost

Through the winter winds, so much for the

Jobs, so much for everything. I light one

Match, and it goes out like always. See if


You can make that noise again with your

Mouth, said the homilist. This fog is

Concerning.  Into the frills of the culture,

Into the lovers straddling pieces of ice


The streets provide, I go down these numbered

Avenues alone. Alone alone. And with relief.




Those nightmare years hurt you into poetry,

But now look!  The sun is coming out. And

The light pouring down is not like blood, and

Things shine beyond description. We forge


Our own iron, a whole vocabulary of iron,

And our riches, bowing to the grass, are not

A metaphor. You have nothing to be angry

About. The endless skin of Being, the rinse


Of Saturdays cobbled in the corners, the evidence

Suggests a firmament beaming with color. Long

Hair falling into the eyes, presumably, the heedless

Stars are not doomed to stasis. The blue blue


Essences, singular in their parallels, are only

Acres of the living, this very learning to be here.


NOELLE KOCOT is the author of six collections of poetry, including Soul in Space (Wave Books, 2013), The Bigger World (Wave Books, 2011), and a book of translations of some of the poems of Tristan Corbière, Poet by Default (Wave Books, 2011). Her previous works include the discography Damon’s Room, (Wave Books Pamphlet Series, 2010), Sunny Wednesday (Wave Books, 2009) and Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems (Wave Books, 2006). She is also the author of 4 and The Raving Fortune (both from Four Way Books). Her poems have been anthologized in Best American Poetry in 2001, 2012, and 2013. She is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, The Fund for Poetry, the American Poetry Review, and a residency fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. She currently lives in New Jersey.