Marthe Reed
Contributions

Marthe Reed is the author of three books: (em)bodied bliss (Moria Books 2013), Gaze (Black Radish Books 2010) and Tender Box, A Wunderkammer  (Lavender Ink 2007). A fourth book, Pleth, a collaboration with j/j hastain, is in press (Unlikely Books) and a fifth will be published by Lavender Ink (2014). She has also published four chapbooks, all part of the Dusie Kollektiv. Her poetry has appeared in New American Writing, Golden Handcuffs Review, New Orleans Review, HOW2, MiPOesias, Fairy Tale ReviewExquisite Corpse, and BlazeVOX, among others. An essay on Claudia Rankine’s The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue appears in American Letters and Commentary.

48


as though tendering
the spectacle of
aesthetic co-ordinates

a shell-splinter
pearl-grey gloves
his crush hat

a specimen
girdled
in the polished disk

of sensual bliss
moved
an accidental

fragment
evokes
his horizon

bounded by two
fans or
two adjacent chairs

glad of a companion
she preferred
an obscure

melancholy
a series of trapezes
the pendulum of

her constantly accelerated
reason
murmuring

almost horizontally
a hollow sound
limiting her field of vision



49


claiming
her due
a pattern in the carpet

dumb-show
expressing
the act of politeness

she moved
in order to
straighten

her fan
a tender smile
taught in her girlhood

sinuous creatures
somewhere beyond
a more premeditated reaction

she had
solitude
a sudden

slender young
beauty
free from the scrutiny of

memories and sensations
a woman
reduced to

an echo
a token
romantically compressed



50


to modify this
overture
she seemed

to appear
by an invitation
a moment dreamed

in the plays of
social engagements
the expression of her anxiety

a pretence
in which she might find herself
a lump of sugar

a thousand signs
underlying
her

might one day emerge
into a laugh
such lovely things

it was only
the emotion of
her gratitude

so delightful
an uneasiness
running

within reach of
the moment
an impression

isolating the word
a regular little peach
half wishing to oblige