Three Poems

Emily Wilson


The somewhat off-sized 
illuminated “I”
pedals its gold kerns
at the edge of
the (unknown?) text, which gives
if you will 
from its tweediness 
to retiform wings
of a dragonfly tipped in below
stiff-haired, protracted
calamine blue and sectored
hemimorphite pilaster to—
the wings in congress—
arcs of the common 
pear leaf and half-pried
bud of the wastrel carnation.
It was opposed to the tight blossom
end that the stem apparently 
snaked to the woodier
stem, it has been my misfortune—
the sheltered things so
in confidence with
what I was 
trying to pay attention to—







In the photosensitive ground
my vision sleeps, stalked in love
and dread, in the metaphorical 
fund we would be chemically
composed in, a simple order scanning
shoots moving whiplike overhead, 
trip-wire threads sprung from the least
constant, but to fix the sliding
sense, cluster-feeding subjects, things
we do on the retinal trap, still
we do them darker for the fovea
mills inside its nest, small
harlequin shark the eye bequeaths
somehow stranger to itself
astride the compassing mouth,
tensile glues, the mailed
shimmed enameling traveling to snap
the snap-strike future of its view, what
I feared, tinged, dissolved.







The double peony
doubling still its still
surround the honeysuckle’s
“rococo sinuosities” doing
their dippings into
shades a close rejoinder to
backward tugs in 
petit-point sheaths all 
the false conductions
wild importations going on
in deep shade under
the flailed honeysuckle
boring through the loose slats
sounds like a drone
in phased
containments the artless
interest solitary
traced you could say
artlessly of
an “art”
that holds in place
hairstreak on
sheer tusk of mauve 
brute appointment.






Emily Wilson is the author of two poetry collections, The Keep (2001) and Micrographia (2009). She lives with her husband and two sons in Iowa City, Iowa.