Literature 11-17-2008

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Charisse Gendron

This week's poem, "Pedestal" by Charisse Gendron, was selected by Deborah Bernhardt. ALSO: Hear this cycle's WL winners read their winning poems on Sunday, November 23 at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.


“Pedestal,” Nonsets 5

Dolor bends stature of the Dolomites
clustering low as toothache in the rain.
He laced her fingers in a velo bind
(open the door and see all the people).

A voice mail in Friulian says Don’t explain
that lipstick shaped by sick lips to a nipple.
35,000,000 soles produced each year
by Vibram rind pedantic feet of grief.

No quarter for quarrel in this rural
where sunshine slights her shadow, little leaf,
pinhead, ice-pick grinning ear to ear
to see them happy. Has she seen enough?

Possessive says apostrophe not plural.
She loved his soapstone feet. Shoot out the lights.


“Pedestal,” “Plush,” and “Jam” are part of a nine-poem series called Nonsets. To write these poems, I quickly make a list of words without considering content, only sound. Then I write a sonnet using the words. So, the syntax and prosody are traditional, but the narrative is skewed, subliminal. Incidentally, I plan to make a chapbook out of the nonsets, and I am looking for an illustrator. I’m thinking quirky but delicate line drawings. Please contact me if you have an idea.


Charisse Gendron is a grant writer and poet.