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Two Poems


 Lessons from Three Paws

To breathe life back into, as I’m told
this bull did—well, I’ve seen the same
after a rescue. True inspiration.
“He won’t last the night,” and I don’t go here
because it’s the exception but because, last night
as your chest rose, your ribs were clearly fingers.

In a co-extensive plain, a mop
rots into its head. Now here,
undoubtedly, was once a scene of really
extraordinary violence.

Be present—
it came from every angle, and is
still probably coming, fresh for some, from some
as if unfolding in time were a savior.

What’s the danger?

At the center of every life
is a partition with something on the other side.


That’s just the way this bird flies, tagged
at the heel, caught, caught-
In your account, a bunch once
alive jams a link. Chain-link the handsaw’s
cold orphrey.
How sad
I said, gross facsimiles of people turned
while on another platform, inappropriate
feelings made me misguide
someone. The most generous
narcissism, reverse of unconscious righteousness
would have me publicize my internal
conflict over M.’s excessive ego.
Ego ergo ego.
A swan’s head is just the end of its neck,
but a dove’s wings steeple.


Jake FOURNIER studies historical American poetics at the University of Chicago where he co-curates the Plexiglas artist series. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he teaches creative writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His poetry has appeared in Lana Turner, Meridian, the Petri Press and elsewhere. 


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Partner to a press called Tenement, Hotel is a publications series for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. 

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