back toJacket2

This is Jacket # 2  |   # 2  Contents   |   Homepage   |   Catalog   |    

Lisa Jarnot

five prose pieces from Sea Lyrics, 1996

I am the waterfront and I cover the waterfront and all the boats all know me, I am the foreignest of birds and the shadows of sails upon martinis, I am underwater buying jam and drinking stolen coffee, I am pelagic now and sober, having recently discovered all the birds.

I am barbecuing eucalyptus pigs of hills and brightly colored housetops, I am waiting for my senses to come back, I am a cabbalistic moment all in black, I am your drunken Irish brother and the plantains on the lawn, I am the tourists hoarding sharks teeth, I am the empty grain silos of Bernal Heights and god, and I am you on the back of a motorcycle crossing Dolores in the pineapple groves of Elvis Costello, sleeping all night, inside of the artificialist lagoons, beyond the palm trees, I am a drag queen named Heather not quite ready for New York.

I won’t go to the waterfront anymore, I am basking on a beach far from the army, I am pointing to a thousand speckled birds, I am watching the salads roll down to the shore, I am on the grounds of Mission High School with the murderers, I am near the edge of all the bungalows, I am reaching toward the pineapples to reach, I am dreaming the dreams I hardly know and know I have tattoos, I am in the ambulance at dawn, I am in this town beneath where you have jumped from bridges row by row, from the midtown light, I am in the dreams Lucretius, I have helped you to assemble all the mammals on the lawn.

Massive and damp, on the ell curve by the Cliff House, next to the nude beach on the barrios that point, where I used to like the Grateful Dead but now I’m just a satanist, this is the Café Bohème where I spend my time, these are the sneakers I’d like to look cool in, this is the hallway with plantains and people I know, these are my neighbors, that is the jukebox place, these are the people who sleep on my steps, this is the man in the laundromat who wishes he was Carol Burnett.

I am this Santa Ana wind and we are bowlers, we are at the haircut man, I have divulged so little of the avocado dawn, I am waiting to buy coffee near the docks upon the square, I am all the hot dogs and the roof of city hall, I am hardly standing in the kamikaze rain, I am of the new year sober now, I am inside of all the horoscopes at once, I am the rainy part of early fall expecting to go back across the bridges, I am near the greenish plantains down the street, I am the subtler angles of the sunlight from the surface of the moon, I am here to yet predict the dawn, I am getting better like the oceans on the sidestreet, I am surrounded by water, I am walking sideways near the church in Watsonville upon the orange line at Lammas Tide.

Peter Gizzi, Lisa Jarnot, NYC, 13 Nov 1997

Peter Gizzi, Lisa Jarnot, in the audience at a poetry reading by Jennifer Moxley and Andrea Brady at Teachers and Writers, New York, 13 Nov 1997. Photograph copyright © John Tranter, 1997

Lisa Jarnot edits the St Mark’s in the Bowery Poetry Project newsletter in New York City. She has published Phonetic Introductions, The Fall of Orpheus, and Some Other Kind of Mission. These five pieces are from the chapbook Sea Lyrics, published by Situations Press in New York.

J A C K E T # 2  Contents page
Select other issues of the magazine from the | Jacket catalog | read about Jacket |
Other links: | top | homepage | bookstores | literary links | internet design |
Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that this material is copyright. It is made available here without charge for personal use only. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose

This material is copyright © Lisa Jarnot
and Jacket magazine 1997
The URL address of this page is