GHAZAL: FOR US
Gold-threaded planet, richly pearled for us.
The galaxy a milkshake, swirled for us.
Past middle age, pair bonding’s just the thing.
Once, lambent nights were thickly girled for us.
A rainbow crowd, a universal theme:
Kiss me, I’m Irish. Bagpipes skirled for us.
Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, Irigaray—
those dervishes of Theory—whirled for us.
Official bards recite at breakneck pace
paeans to bombs and missiles hurled for us.
What rock will be our venue down the road
with ice caps slain, no-Earth preferred for us?
The jackpot’s flush. Play numbers from your dreams;
some magic carpet might unfurl for us.
See skull-jeweled Kali dance astride this life:
terror computer screens obscured for us.
Time warps, as ever, tender beauty’s line,
but how did history get so gnarled for us?
Red-flowering chestnut, cheering at the sky.
Damp hair of privates, darkly curled for us.
It’s spring. Jan plucks one febrile string all day:
The only Beloved is the world, for us.
Jan Clausen’s poetry appears widely in such publications as Bloom, Coconut, Drunken Boat, Fence, Kenyon Review, Hanging Loose, The Hat, Hotel Amerika, Nightsun, Ploughshares, and the Library of America anthology Poems from the Women’s Movement. Her most recent poetry collections are From a Glass House and If You Like Difficulty, both published in 2007. Recipient of writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, Jan teaches in the Goddard College MFA in Writing Program.