Deborah Poe






first come the senses

hundreds of flush blossoms, fragrance, spring curled around blue sky

hippocampus with frontal cortex analyzes sensory inputs

beings bridge the distance between bodies and tree—same speed—thus motionless

long-term memory-worth

cherry blossoms bloom beyond change

bits stored in various parts of brain

clap of thunder, movement of water

a message leaps and connects across gaps between nerve cells at synapse


dendrites, feathery tips of brain cells, extend to neighboring cells

one blossom bears many blossoms

electrical firing releases neurotransmitters

lightning against fence posts

diffuse across spaces between cells

inflorescence snow across the earth beneath trees (mind-ground)

as changes occur at synapses and dendrites, more connections created


first you pay attention

mountains, river, and earth

much is filtered out

thorn bushes

how you pay attention determines what you remember

old branches, which do not reach 






stages serve as filters, keep one from overwhelming flood

her favorite color red, as part of her (in)eternal palate, a warm color

sensory juncture allows perception—visual, a sound, a touch

she takes her color and puts it into any operation

impulses linger, a moment, after stimulation ends

takes the feeling of touch, makes it a green room

a short term phenomenon breezes in after the flash

she remembers his number, brushed in orange

repetition made the shift to long term more promising

Lady Sings the Blues” is still her favorite song because

she holds the information of him, indefinitely





from unconscious to conscious mind by will
painting the horse
some memory components are more efficient than others
to penetrate one thing is to penetrate many things
for example, she forgets where she left the paintbrush
a failed attempt to be intimate with the stroke
no memory of its location 
still, when she paints she experiences the brush directly
no mismatch between cues and encoding
her realization 
she could retrieve the memory accurately
words, letters, and shapes a remedy for satisfaction




Under the Home


under mind’s home, there are many homes

and beneath many homes       a memory mansion

children play records, mouth initials of those they love

over and over windows burst wide open

a mansion made of stone binds to self

not a slippery slope up—years open-armed—

but connection between mind and moving

below the memorabilia

small fingers coadunate mind and world

clockmaker or cartographer

there is a reason to resist home



Wild Kingdom

The invisibility in question can just as well be described as my getting lost in the landscape: as my becoming one with it.

Edward Casey


crowded around the meat

zebras' entrails to sky

vultures neck deep at the carcass corral

if place drew one inward to this landscape

outward to book: the desert, the dust, the death

who knows the house

or neighborhood

spectacle and fear its own dwelling



this morning a deer tears across neighbor’s yard

there’s not a sound through the window to hear it






The mist stuck in your lungs, as did the landscape.

Breasts barring horizontally, in the old growth above you, belong.

Like you, forming long-term pair bonds.

You waited to wander the island with such inseparability.

The division of one heart from all others is delusion

as the natural tree hollows hold hatched young.

A catch in the throat. See also the heart leaf spring beauty,

Claytonia cordifolia—in the forest understory or streambanks.

Candy-shaped little flowers, materialize on meandering stems.




“Breath” was written for Miguel, Adria, & Magdalene Magrath (after Laynie Browne). It appeared in recorded form in Delirious Hem 2011:



Deborah Poe is the author of the poetry collections the last will be stone, too (2013), Elements <>  (2010), and Our Parenthetical Ontology <>  (2008), as well as a novella in verse, Hélène <>  (2012). In addition, Deborah is co-editor of Between Worlds: An Anthology of Fiction and Criticism <>  (2012) and In/Filtration: An Anthology of InnovativeHudson Valley Poetry <>  (2013). Deborah writes fiction and poetry. Her poetry is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Handsome, Eccolinguistics, 1913, Shampoo, and Denver Quarterly. Deborah is assistant professor of English at Pace University, Westchester, and founder and curator of the annual Handmade/Homemade Exhibit <> . For more information, visit