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Jen Hofer – Four Poems

Jen Hofer


Four Poems
“welcome to arizona”
9 may 2006

after a long day followed by a long bicycle ride


palms twin palms along avenues mistless, sidewalks wistful and stained. we used to cut the hands off our corpses to elude detection, now we sit quietly next to our murders, the direct approach. a stranger seeps in or the proffered thorny plant met with back-turned silence. passing out the window in a blur swifter than a stone dropped from a great height onto a pile of stones. it is as if there is no wind against the clank and whir of these unsilent streets, churning as if in a gurgle of effort to meet us halfway. but halfway to where? our demise is surely imminent, but imminence is slow to materialize. meanwhile, the wheels spin coiling and uncoiling a constant undercurrent of undoing, a worrying maneuver on a ground we had prepared for something else. something else is out there, she said, our gazes turned from one view to face another or in this frame we cannot look away.



“inspection station”
30 april 2006

the linda lea theater, aka the smell  *  the sun has set


municipalities without exception: the entirety of the other person embodied solidly in a former movie theater. of the other person the entirety lifted by a slight — very slight — wind. by a desire to know. a sunday has become a wednesday in the rarefied light, or it is simply cloudy. not cloudy. or not simply. if it were possible to speak certainly someone would do so. or i would. if we were in a movie theater or formerly flowers could please simply by blooming. formerly we were in a cracked geography. a cracked, trilling, chirping, nocturnal, bibliographic geography onto which the murders are marked with x’s in chalk which will erase. as they will erase, the x’s dissipate into an unseasonable fog. the sea is a secret or would be. a market. a memory. a swoon on somebody else’s time clock.



“newport harbor ferry system”
24 april 2006

someday i would like to ride a ferry with you — to hold
your hand and kiss — your face in the wind



exactly this — this
which is — glittering broken
on the rain-cracked
asphalt — in the asphalt
coins, keys, tread, shards, what
once was marrow or a human
moment — dented, fading, glinting — now
become remnant — this quick — exact
escape pressed — inexactly — which
is chosen — appears against
the asphalt — against the cracks



“bullhead city, arizona”
20 april 2006

wishing you were here at the ventura city harbor


not being empty, this lot the cemetery for foundered or exploded boat parts, stairs leading nowhere, concrete pilings, nestling on their sides or not nestling but falling unbidden. everywhere visible the sun going down. in silhouette the mountains indistinguishable from mountains, the masts like hats or steeples or bayonets at attention. no one should command such armies, the pace of an afternoon at gunpoint hurtling, no one should heed the busy demands of industrious profit before running a finger over the barnacled blue of an inside edge exposed but we do. to stay afloat, we do what it takes to stay afloat. many wild bunnies grace this salty construction site, and a boat called “una más,” and another called “bésame.” many shades of shadowless blue cozy up in the shape of a flower, underfeather of bird, rippling wake on a man-made surface muttering into the distance as the crow flies.

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