Paula Cisewski

Ghost of Songbird
            a Fryderyk Chopin golden shovel

A songbird’s convoluted vocabulary stalls every

sad line of thought. Distraction is no great difficulty.

Even when you feel like an action hero lacking traction, your action slurred

and ambulatory. Even when the breeze carries ululations over

associations: wing to cape as will

to hate. Tweedly deedly dee. Static briefly. Be

when you must, a resoundingly joyless decoy, then be the

real McCoy’s cloudsunk, buzzing ghost.

A bird fills its lungs: an incantatory procession. Whatever third cousin to

grief tweedly deedly dee-ed through to disturb,

that’s what will bluster the panes of you. Your

machina, your rockin’ robin sonic process in repose.

If you set the little resuscitated sadnesses free, later

it will feel nearly regal to move on.

Paula Cisewski‘s fourth poetry collection, Quitter, won Diode Editions’ 2016 Book Prize and her third, The Threatened Everything, was the finalist selected for publication in the 2014 Burnside Review Book Contest. Both will appear in early 2017. Cisewski is also the author of Ghost Fargo (selected by Franz Wright for the Nightboat Poetry Prize), Upon Arrival (Black Ocean), and a chapbook of lyric prose, Misplaced Sinister (Red Bird Chapbooks). For more, visit

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