Eli Halpern – Three Poems

Eli Halpern

Three Poems

Dinner is specified on the table.  Donna’s

Altering the game with caffein shits.  She overcorrects for carrots, blots a patch of baking soda on her summer dress.  Winter Donna has demons.  Such as they are, they couch in her ass paring winter squash.  Jon holds his coffee well, they think, mutation

And a little biscuit called in french. Breakfast is trench

Warfare between Jon and Donna, they hold each other in mind as they look off at some eggs–at someone holding eggs.  When customer Nancy phones. If she is factual she is sitting with her hand in her waistband and Donna across the line is massaging her hamstring. Something complains in the noise

And a little truffle (calls
off dinner, the week drawing, squash goes for sexual overtones.)


In March a glacier makes an advance, a bend which continues in our hair and threatens in TV.  The technical writer describes a long romance.  Jon and Donna, we sit at our desks until May and the vents reopen

The league of sky and demon–winter squash is preserved in ice when we plant zucchini and pattypan–Jon’s long piss and his Mondays–Donna’s firm–a term bolts from the

Matrix into morning
             and the gassy recess–

Nancy’s house was burgled.  It happened

At 1:47 in the afternoon while the white cat was shitting in its box.  She was out consuming the wing of a Macy’s, fondling the slim shoes or preening in the racks.  A shuffling of “What if we woke up and the TV lay tipped on the floor.  Who did it?  A sideways detective was finishing up in the static.

A prone bird popping with moments
of the Food Network.”

“You heard of food porn?”  “Like when you stuff a duck in a chicken?”  “No, you know, watching cooking shows late at night, when you can’t eat yourself.”  Certain species of loon.  Nancy returned with a nylon scarf and polyester sweater at 3:10 in the afternoon.

“Fuck.  Shit.  Fuck.”  Some when eating

Their young entirely.  (Microwave, TV, stereo, the pure burglar.)  The white cat had long since cleaned.  A month later


Nancy ponders her drainage problem over coffee. “Your shopping cart is empty.  Would you like to continue shopping with us?“  She nods hovering

Over Yes.

Blind Copy

The technical writer receives vague specifications.  Like his mother gave him the fractions of cake only after eliciting a birdlike dance.  Cut off,

He has clapped and claps to re-inspire blood-flow.

In March a glacier is known.  It is introduced
to the world as breaking off.

The technical writer records similar mistakes with (blind) dates and in warmer climates.  Warmer is specified and open on the screen.  Not

Again.  The fifth version of the memo contains the word “solvent,” which disappears in versions six and seven only to reappear in eight.  In May the technical writer watches a woman watching an ice cube melt on the tablecloth.  He thinks of faking

A sneeze but the waiter comes, so he asks about the wording of a sauce.

“Simmered?”  “Well–”  “Reply to All?”  “OK.”

The memo launches without “solvent.”  A little lemon cake burped up from dinner.


The mother of the technical writer receives his mannered dance, exchanged for cake though he’d read vagaries into

Juliennes, slices, cubes.  Test audience applauding very red hands over a data flow.  The cold room.

In May the technical writer is introduced
to his date as breaking off.

Ether outsourced from a Chinese holding company, which solvent does not appear in the final memo for reasons of style.  Salt mines shut down when they appear in conversation–

“Allow download?”  “Not

Again.”  “What now?”  “Baking soda and water.”  In March a blind date watches the technical writer watching a tooth of salt dissolve on the tablecloth before

His white shirt expires
in sauce.  Ether

Only occasionally stocked in the information age.  “The mousse was too pricey.”

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