Tag Archives: Jen Karetnick

I Drink to Irony
by Jen Karetnick

— At Grand Residences, Puerto Morelos

All afternoon, the two Americans
at the pool bar in Mexico squabble
like blue jays at a bird feeder about
immigrants. You should be fired,
the woman says to the man who turns

families away from invisible lines.
You let too many in. You do a bad job. Full
of certainty as she is of blood. Both
lack empathy, melanin. Infrared,
the agent spends more of what he earns.

They down shots of silver, shudder like fans.
I swirl reposado in a bubble
glass, chat with the bartender about expat
communities nearby. How well they fare.
After each sip, I breathe out to stem the burn.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 3.

Jen KaretnickJen Karetnick is the author of seven poetry collections, including The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016).She is co-editor of SWWIM Every Day. Find her on Twitter @Kavetchnik. More at jkaretnick.com.

 

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Misdirection
by Jen Karetnick

To seal the mouth after the Seder meal
so that nothing unholy might enter
with the exception of two cups of wine
is what the Haggadah writes of matzoh—

digest a one-half egg volume portion.
Digest a one-half egg volume portion.

Then recite the prayer that turns dust to dough.
About such magic there’s just one question
for the ascetic skeptic to answer:
How do you measure an egg that’s partial,

how do you conjure solids to liquids?
This trap of estimation is mild
enough, but video game logic lies
ahead—to know something you must break it.

Eggs are like rules, good only through the cracks.
Eggs are like rules, good only through the cracks.

Take direction from the Furies and whisk
into three tablespoons, more or less.
Now you see. If the words are updated,
also risk the chosen, misunderstood gods.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 1.

Jen KaretnickJen Karetnick is the author of seven poetry collections, including The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016).She is co-editor of SWWIM Every Day. Find her on Twitter @Kavetchnik. More at jkaretnick.com.

 

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Incantation for Akimbo
by Jen Karetnick

For awry

For aslope

For askew

For shaped into a crook

For throwing an awkward elbow

For the handles of jugs

and impertinent teapots

For sharp-pointed

For bow-bent

For the etymology of battle

(in common use)

From Old Norse to Middle English

as applied to spear, spike,

dagger, goad, hook, anchor,

axe, knife, sword—

Let us assign such a context

to the weed of a kitten

seeded in a car engine

After the flowering of pistons

and spark plugs

After the pluck of crankshaft

Not a wound

but a weapon

Not an amputation

but an argument

A stiffened extension

of spine canted at an angle

also meaning bold

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 4.

Jen KaretnickJen Karetnick is the author of seven poetry collections, including The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016).She is co-editor of SWWIM Every Day. Find her on Twitter @Kavetchnik. More at jkaretnick.com.

 

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Visit Jen Karetnick’s contributors page.