House of Glass and other poems by Ioana Cosma

Ioana Cosma

House of Glass

what in the name
of a rose
requires a respite
from awesomeness
and youth

is the thing
that nags like a
disk on replay
now and then
the daylight
of my skin.

the first creases,
almost invisible.
then it gets thicker
and deeper like
killing ivy.

the other day,
I saw this teenager
with long black hair.
Looked like me
twenty years ago
from the back.

I behold my mini-mane
blond now, supposed
to mollify ageing features, etc.
but now it's a house at least,
it used to be a fisherman's tent.

strange how we become more devoted
to these crumbling temples
as time goes by. how, in the
rashness of youth, death seemed
like a joke and now it puts to shame
King Lear.

stay on, this flesh is permanent
these gone-by locks of curly hair
that I imagined turned me into
a haiduk, riding, riding, riding
so what, even death is supposed
to be riding, the scarecrow from hell.

it is the mind that becomes more
beautiful, more sophisticated
as bones dry and eyes drown
this embellished mind has a sense
of beauty yet it never sees
what needs to be seen:
the ki, the life, the awaiting womb.

Red Rhythming

she: shoulders shrouded in red shawls
harrowing tune in her ears, till dawn,
rhyming, rhythming, she paces.

red violin, aghast on faraway seashores,
the beat of beasts, the sound of sandstorms,
rhyming, rhythming, in a trance.

upbeat, keep up that record,
a Baron de Lestac for the Lady in Red!
rhyming, rhythming, the flow of willowy words.

can take it no more, the tides are advancing,
the red sea the thick reddening smile.
rhyming, rhythming, she blows.

Nineteenth Century Man

Keep a little to yourself - that's what her mother told her
so she blew up most of her heart instead day after day
until she found the tiny corner where he'd hidden for ages:
reserved and awesome like an eye that opens inside out.

the lust had vanished, the tears had the consistency of clear sky
she'd been a cinnamon peeler's wife for too long, the skin
of things was moving upon grazing on miraculous sands
there was no evidence, no sign to read, no tarot deck of cards.

or maybe the subtle gaze behind soft eyelids that never learnt
to shoot, the rounded angle between his elbow and thighs,
the polo shirt laid like white linen on pure hearts, the words that
flowed as if he was the first man to ever speak.

He wore no bow or tie, he didn't even play piano
yet there was all the Chopin it took to steal Georges Sand's heart
all the Rilke in the Duino and all the Lou Andreas
the spleen, the ache, the melodramatic she'd found inside.

Return to Journal

Ioana Cosma is a writer and lecturer at The University of Pitești in Romania. She has published four volumes of poetry: By the Book in Romania, In Aevo and The Psychogeography of Love  with Silver Bow Publishing, and With the Vagabonds with New Meridian Arts. Her chapbook, The Book of Stephen, is forthcoming with Dancing Girl Press in Chicago and her first novel, The Ones from Afar, will be published by Institutul European Press in Romania.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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