Apartment Poetry Quarterly

3A              3B              3C              3D              3E              3F


2E Mathias Svalina





Do not stare, or turn to look, loll, laggard
Do not tell that which is private, flawless
Do not mourn a radiant array, once set in earthly
Premises— do not fail to rise

Do not use incorrect adjectives. We were celebrating
The word “dear” in the mouths of women
Her return from beyond embrace
Effusive as in— do not confuse party for person

She ordered a medium rich carnelian cup, as large
As a darkly brewed mixing bowl. All was pleasure
If you want to come back to life do not carry
Your hands to your face. Do not add a brilliant

Decoction of correctness, aural antediluvian antidote
All you need is a very large coeval compulsion, coffee


Arise from surface
Enclose outer cell wall
Call it by name
Penetrate nervous elements

A thin sheathe abundant with
Adherent missing, long stalks linked by
Peripheral nerves. Talk is trianglular
Globiferous to such an extent

Contractile poison punctures
Bases of valves hued
Coarse sand and gravel
Cake urchins flattened

Even books in libraries have limitations
Silence in essence is internal, sky


Fluently we know not the register
Which supposes we know
Frequently we despise our spies
Draped chairs of spined rhetoric

Often we spin soporific reveries
Awaken aquatic stars
Of many branched arms
Lacking blood

Curl and wrap prey into knot
I don’t do this in public
Lift, pray —to comb structure

As if never having writ a stitch
Pearl, balcony, beckoning


I was raised on sun and promises of
Exquisite nest if I married the correct lap
Law abiding custom otherwise known
As cock gunning, materialist culture

Young, tanned, which I never was
Preferably demure, dim-witted, trimmed
Redoing interiors of other’s wreckage
Tear down men who stand too close and talk

Too loud. Who charge a wife until the next
Younger pack arrives driving opulence or
Saunters into the house of a friend barely
Dressed with plasticized post surgically taut

Features. I wanted none of that refulgence
So failed to swallow, fled


I said “at home” as if I lived two or three
Cities ago at a particular bookstore
Bedding or beverage, as if now meant
To refer to sitting with someone else

At a table slightly askew or rocking
The wrong temperature for one’s attire
Possibly not in sync with time zones
But always in conversation with the exact

Remedy for whatever is lost
Your voice is that friend
Slanted between this hour of rushing
And that of mending as if a mind were

Constructed each moment. A mind is constructed each moment
Of this ritual of writing in bed the same as a voice you
            wrap around yourself and pull


It is only in the lowest forms that
Meeting of egg and sperm is left to chance
Right side of spiral and shell could hang
Heavily on the closed left side

Likewise, true seals of the north are found
To escape from limitations of the body
Life may be defined as a constant attempt
To find one and avoid another

If we are asked what advantage, if any, has resulted from
            two sex scheme reproduction we must confess
            to some uncertainty
Chief enemies apart from humans are sharks
Cephalopods have dwindled since the Mesozoic
Constant exposure of their delicate bodies leads to undoing

The most important fact about living matter
Is its inordinate power to increase