CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Two Poems
Ava Lehrer


Memorial: Garden of Stones


                Have you ever seen a rock garden?

                She was at the head who asked what it meant.
                How do these rocks relate to the end of this man, as well as the end of them?
                They don’t, or they didn’t while I stood there for you.

                You want to know why they walk out thinking we’re goats?
                It’s the pictures downstairs there’s one kind—the nose.
                Not all of us jutting a brain from the face.

                Where’s the rhino among these rocks?
                They could replace you with lashing—
                a real memorial.
                Look, he’s gone, he’s punctured each room.
                We’ll summarize the holes in one great one.

                You don’t like my people?
                I don’t know if I can handle that.
                Birobidzhan was frozen, they walked around.
                You were with me, then,
                your little garden was white.

                He wanted to eliminate an angle: no more looking
                from the side, everything head on. Is it clear?

                You could go to the rock garden,
                you could see how the trees are splitting rocks into pieces.
                How do the trees relate?
                When they dumped him in a cart, shipped him to an airless place,
                trees were the view. Are you always this quiet?





The Maps: A Stop to See the Sentences


                As with continents, a drift:
                whole Asias toward the cusp.

                This must be Taizu’s work.

                Who else eating the map, spooning the Onon
                delicious?

                For all your spoonerisms, not much has been confused.
                Asia, maybe, with its drifting.
                Outside that, it’s awfully charted the map.

                (Subjects still seem to come
                at the very end of a sentence.
                It may not be just a Pale of Settlement
                thing, a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
                thing, that I like:
                —it tastes sweet the map
                —she sings well the madele
                —they talk all night the brothers.)

                This must be Molodowsky.

                When Donne wrote of maps, he wrote of something else.
                The ship needed folding.

                Preparing, leaning, goodbye, goodbye,
                he jumps into the map.

                On the way to his Asia, a Polish stop—
                we’ve stopped to see the sentences:

                —Hello. Where did you get our frying pan?
                —It’s hot the pan.
                —You used it?
                —For you we use it.

                Eating the map is his
                long recollection.

                That and Pinya humming during
                digs for gold.

                Der Emes was a draw
                he remembered before jumping.

                —Hit him with a fish if you want him back.
                —Hit him with his own stuff.
                —I wouldn’t let mine futz around so long …

                They talk all night, the brothers,
                at the head of the ship:

                —Why we should be again
                                      in the map?
                —Because of the Asias.
                I want they should not drift.
                —And Pinya! I want he should be
                                      here right now.

                Pinya struggled to keep it
                quiet, but was eventually discovered.
                A shame that gold dust in a glass
                bottle protrudes from a pocket.
                Otherwise, who would have known?

                Taizu,

                You may have little to do with this.

                                                       —the maps
                seem to be dealing, at least, for the moment,
                with their own set of concerns.

                You, on the other hand, could fish him out, reel him in,
                mention nothing more of the brothers.



Ava Lehrer is a recent graduate of Bard College. She lives in Queens, teaches a writing seminar at Touro College in Manhattan, and is an editorial assistant at Ugly Duckling Presse.