Two Poems

by Sharon Moskowitz

Honest Words Lullaby
(on reading Bernstein after dark)

god Damn, I shouldn't read
this crap before I go to bed
I'm thinking what I said,
it isn't meant, or
if it is it isn't
now--I'm not the one
who said it anyhow

& what I wrote is nix
to what you read (that
inadvise'd 'you') & any-
way some cells have died
& fallen off since then
& others switched around

(who says we have to
wake before we drown?)

Like Ice

It's cold here, but I manage to
slip a poem or two between the
hard insistent clatter of my keying and
the glare behind the metal grids of the
flourescent lights like inserts from old-fashioned ice
cube trays, like my great uncle might have used

and his grandfather, who worked the ice house
where the ice chipped from the grey Hudson
stayed cool all summer, but my eyes burn and I
remember. They have factories for that now.

Sharon Moskowitz has written career-related non-fiction on subjects ranging from personal computers to yo-yo tricks. She has recently published poetry in Conspire. She holds a degree in creative writing from Florida State University and currently shares a home in Tallahassee with two multilingual fencing instructors, two adorable computer geeks, two Shih Tzus, two cats and a lone turtle.

On "Like Ice": A great deal of North American poetry is based in a sense of place; think of Frost's country roads and rustic neighbors, Sandburg's vibrant industrial city, Whitman's range of landscapes as wide and varied as his nation's.

Most North Americans no longer work on either the land or the streets, but in climate-controlled offices. Their leisure time is spent at the television or the computer or wandering a mall containing the same shops, the same views, as every other mall. What happens to that place-sense when the most familiar places are identical fluorescently-lit grey boxes?

"Honest Words Lullaby" is one of those poems that must stand or fall on its own. I'm not certain I understand it myself.

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