A Poem by Deborah Bogen

Deborah Bogen

Deborah Bogen

Deborah Bogen has four prize-winning collections of poetry. The latest, In Case of Sudden Free Fall, came out from Jacar Press in 2017. These days she’s primarily a political activist in Pittsburgh PA where she writes songs, plays ukulele and sings in The Highland Park Mini-band.

This Poem May Be Read In Any Order


Art’s narrow…but strewn with rigid words

so let me invent

                      blonde rain, wild turf
                      fractured petals, vulgar earth.

I’ll stop the drift from earth to hearth,
           hearth to fire,
                       fire to destruction and defeat.

Damn the orderly flow. I want to feel the ache in my vein
                       as an ice haven.


The OED loves words begetting words, so

            resistance to ancestries feels              out of order

as if love of serendipity is another thinly rinsed piety,

                        a confusion leading to nuncios of

nothing     minds spinning but returning     to zero

           to a symbol as simple as God?

As simple as doG — my first blasphemy.


This sort of experiment may end badly.

                                              Expert men (I know) agree,

but I persist — I step, sir, to a drum that

          beats dis-arrangement as the true religion,

I — one girl — do this,

amidst your order and fine design.             I’m here,

feeding sin, worshipping inversion – and disruption.


                          Which is why this poem may be read

in any order.           I scorn syntax to uncover unsought beauties —

                           a bee suit      or beau site,

something lively, like holy laughter

                       and even you, sir, may find a keep

in lingo’s immensity              a peek into the oracular city —

vine-covered for centuries, where once revived,

                             words are born again - e.g.,

ash-man and shaman.                  Priest and sprite.