It's the Things You Know That are Hardest to Believe

I know that the sun is a byproduct
           of an infinitude of marigolds
and pure supple honey,
           but I don’t believe it.

I know that a river is no more particular
           to the water
that establishes it

than a desert is
           to its every grain
of sand

but the purity
           of such effort-

less movements—but. But.

As I know how easy
           it is to vomit out
grief disguised as bile

but today such a notion
is verily unbelievable.

You’re as beautiful today
           as you wish

to desire
           to be.

The sun positively gleans today…

Past is past is past
is past…


Is past.


People are Places are Places are People

I grew up in a house
made out of smoke

and old mental carvings.

Father disrobed in it
the way a man stranded for decades

on a deserted island

might disrobe.
Was a superbly prolific eater, father.

Mother loved life and to work.

Today I live in a house
feeling I’m constantly dreaming

what I might have once been

busy being.

It chafes,
clutter’s reverberation

with sound.

Poems are not about
the difference between

what you know

and what you choose to reveal.

Poems are about houses.





Jeff Alessandrelli lives in Portland, OR. Recent work by him appears/is forthcoming in Pleiades, Redivider, Salt Hill, Anti-, Gulf Coast, Boston Review and the chapbooks Don’t Let Me Forget To Feed the Sharks (Poor Claudia) and People Are Places Are Places Are People (Imaginary Friend Press). This Last Time Will Be The First, his 1st full length collection of poetry, is forthcoming from Burnside Review Press in 2014.