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Celeste Goyer: California Poets Part 6, Three Poems

Celeste Goyer

October 18th, 2023

California Poets: Part VI

Celeste Goyer

Three Poems

Headwork & Mapwork

How does your head feel? Confident? Good. You could think about flying today. Call in your flight plan from the special phone booth and a little man in the far distance will answer. Where he sits is silver, geometric and the views are long from his windows. He’s the bridegroom of science. What you believe, he will believe, for today. You are both beautiful, aren’t you, you and your plan, but it’s fragile up there. Things on their way to kill you may seem tiny at first, so keep your eyes moving. Remember what they call lift is absence in your arms that sucks you away from the earth. What they call climb can have different endings. Where you left from probably fell apart by now. Where you’re going to may be out of fuel, a speck in the whiteness you chose early this morning.

How Infants Get to Earth

I take off my glitter glasses, tired of my own act. I hold my hat to keep the rain off the flea circus. You’re very kind, you help, you bring me pancakes. No one noticed it but me, your kindness, the way you chased dark pools of syrup around the plate, carefully avoiding the edges of my lips as you feed me, but I see it, I know you existed for years as silently as a ship in a landlocked country. The good people, eager to please, look for peace at home, peace at the supermarket, using coded hand gestures to communicate. That’s where I learned how infants get to earth, though I wish I had found out earlier.

On the Oxbow

Even if it does not mean consent, the river stands for itself. Its retreat was planned. Out in the middle of this short, pale blue story, an open hand in silhouette, stretching to make itself larger.

Those of us on shore want to believe there’s a boat underneath, or a tall man whose white sneakers rest on stones. You go back to your hard work, teaching animals about hats and taxis. Your life story will go a long way in making you crack like a broken skirt.

Author Bio:

Celeste Goyer is a poet and visual artist living in Los Angeles, CA. She edited a literary quarterly for fourteen years and her poems have appeared in Aperçus, Scoundrel Time and The Columbia Review, among others. Her debut poetry collection, The Shoes of Our Guests, was released in October 2023 from Giant Claw, an imprint of What Books Press. Celeste is a member of the Wild Orchid Collective, based in Venice, CA, an interdisciplinary literary and visual arts group. Born in Northampton, Massachusetts, Celeste Goyer has lived in California since age 11, mostly in remote towns of the Mojave and Great Basin deserts.


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