three poems by Ori Fienberg

Ori Fienberg

Ori Fienberg’s poetry is forthcoming this year in Cimarron Review, The Dallas Review, Ploughshares, Smartish Pace, and Superstition Review. Ori is the author of the chapbooks Old Habits, New Markets, available from elsewhere press, and Interim Assistant Dean of Having a Rich Inner Life from Ghost City Press. A collection of prose poems, Where Babies Come From, is forthcoming this fall 2024 from Cornerstone Press. Ori teaches poetry for Northeastern University.

Tumble Dry

Who knew VOCs were potent bee 

pheromones, beguiling a swarm

of nectar seekers who must quell


their desires with Arm & Hammer

syrup clinging to the metal stamen

of the washing machine’s basket?


So much can change in the midst

of a spin cycle: coneflower coronas

have lost their jewels; firm pressure


with your barefoot (if you can bear

the heat) can slowly spread asphalt,

or imbed your own personal fossils


in ten-to-twenty-year bitumen time 

capsules of road surfaces; ice cream

ends up injection molded into cones,


the excess falling to a roasting pan

sidewalk; on the lake lasers tip, turn 

turtle, then lift from the green water


as pilots casually lever diagonally

from daggerboards. It’s much harder

to coax bees out from a basement


by providing gentle wind for phlox,

purple sage, and lilies gifting greasy 

orange stains, another load to wash.



Erratics are Erotic


How many fear salesman does any

family need? We keep buying since

it's the only supply chain that hasn't

suffered, the only commodity that's

always beyond powers of inflation,

or liters of gas, because it's a public

good, a free ride, a destination time

share without any takers to a stop:

mind the gap, careful the crevasse,

gaze before stepping over excesses

of air. It's back to normal on trains,

and it's a one-way trip on all lines, all

colors merging into the light shining

through discarded masks. All the sad 

children get special magics, the rest

get allium blossoms or bolted chives.



Sounds Like Sushi Grade On Sale


The days of savage calves have passed

and these joists are only sort of sistered,

one little known ligament, and too many

mistakes. I wanted to go from potato to

meat in six weeks, but I've hit the wall in 

the season, of flagrant terniflora, and we

can't quit quietly collecting carrots from

rabbits crossing yards: a thousand final

flares of fragrance wrapped around our

fences can't stop frost, and yet ice caps

seem to melt wherever I go. Where can I 

find a perfect shower head mode? Rain 

slows the tree sap in our veins, ash turns

yellow, and runners slip on summer cash.