Lisa Abraham’s Book Launch and Catherine French || Monday, Oct. 9, 7:30 || SPC, 1719 25th St

Lisa Dominguez Abraham’s work has been published in journals such as Southern Review, North American Review and Poetry East. Her collection Mata Hari Blows a Kiss won the 2016 Swan Scythe Chapbook Contest, and some of her poems will appear in the forthcoming Sacramento Voices anthology. Originally from the Bay Area, she has lived for many years in Sacramento where she teaches at Cosumnes River College.

Donne’s Compass

“Thy firmness makes my circle just

            And makes me end where I begun.”

It’s go time. Your dust-coated Peterbilt

edges from the chute as cattle shoulder

one another and low, settling in for

the ride. Fighting sleep, you call me

to talk, keep you crisp. On the old paper

map I keep open the weeks you’re gone, I

find the highway town where you fuel, a dot

on a line, and from there trace the back roads

around Wyoming scales, imagining

your stops at ranches and feedlots. Our cell

phones are miracles. My voice reaches through

your exhaustion until you say your eyes

can focus. The road is clear and you can

picture it now, our kitchen table, home.


Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife

Inspired by the work of the same name from 1820 by Japanese artist
Hokusai (1760-1849), which depicts a woman having sex with two octopus.
It is a woodcut design of the ukiyo-e genre (also known as
“Shell Diver and Two Octopus”).

Perhaps because he has three hearts,
he cuts three separate paths through me
each one paralyzing
each tentacle improbably reaching through
my sunless interior
which he loves
because he loves full dark.
Only there will he uncurl
the spirals of his clench
and loiter like a spy
to decode the encrypted
walls for a while,
until he curses
throws down his cigarette
and slides
right through the keyholes,
so full of elegant tricks.
That black within black
he thinks is made for him
And I can say nothing,
paralyzed and helplessly
giving up secrets
in apocalyptic trance.
This ecstasy must be
like his ink,
I think to myself, the way
it suffuses through water
or is it more like smoke?
No. It’s fused quartz
I most resemble.
It has better ultraviolet transmission
than the other glasses
and conducts so well. Thoughts
can wander
in the throes, and the mind is made
to bear mute witness to its own testimony.                                                                                                                   Each arm has its own thought process
and it is difficult to keep track
of time and sense.
How could I have known
I would blow wide open?
Or that his tentacles
would feel so warm around
my limbs as he absorbs
the tripled pulse
of my scribbled confession.

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