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Laura Madeline Wiseman

Yearly: On Our Anniversary

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He sends me an Eden calendar, the place I come from,
where he will always be, and a daily calendar of words.
You think this poem is going to tell you something
about me through the story I tell you about him
and so I say he also sends me a garden store gift card.
The same gifts every year. Now you're thinking temptation,
that he's a man who'd always douse himself in cologne
and you'd probably be right. What you're getting about me
is I laugh at his idiosyncrasies. If you were my sister
you'd be insisting on hate to prove he's a bullying man
who consistently sends gifts on the holiday I don't celebrate.
But you're not my sister and so have nothing to prove.
Maybe he is a bullying man who shops every year
for word and Eden calendars, probably at the same store,
and the gift card to a store that's in his land, not mine.
And you're thinking I appreciate the consistency
of each year closing on these gifts even though
these last years I hate them and Eden isn't all that pretty
for a calendar and I have to drive two hours to find
the garden store to spend the gift card. But I do drive
the two hours spending in gas the cost of the card
and I always pull off yesterday's word to see today's
sometimes I am surprised, but most of the words I've heard.
Yesterday's word was serpent, today's is whore,
and tomorrow's (I always peek) is femme fatale.


First appeared in Georgetown Review, 2008.

Forthcoming in First Wife, Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013.


Lecture: The Happy Couple
Honeymoon, 1886

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I take this man.
He takes me

as I am. A Lucy Stoner
some will whisper, though

I coupled
his name with mine.

When I must travel alone
he lights the lamp,

clips the newspaper
headlined by Matilda Fletcher,

and waits
for the distant roar,

for a whistle
to pierce the night.


First appeared in "Prothalamion" Multi Culti Mixterations: Playful and Profound Interpretations of Culture Through Haiku. Vol. 1. Judith B. Bachay, and Issac M. Carter, Eds. Miami, Florida: Intercultural Society Communications Group, 2010.

Also in Unclose the Door, Gold Quoin Press, 2012.

My Imaginary Cock Weeps for Sybil

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My imaginary cock weeps for Sybil as Sally Field
crawls on knees. My cock sobs in Dancer in the Dark

as Bjork bludgeons a man to save her son's sight.
My cock tears up as the Elephant man is beaten.

Nothing can stop my cock's crying. No shoulder, no
arms that hug, no box of tissues, no credit reel, no

bowl of caramel popcorn, no cocktail, no jokes, no
shopping therapy, no workout, no yoga, no sex.

Nothing can block the chokes. Not plaster walls,
not thirteen floors, not ear plugs, not cornfields.

A hound bays five houses over. Blue jays siren.
Feral cats climb from gutters with ears turned out.

Teenagers practice drums. Neighbors start mowers.
Planes take off early. Jets dip below the sound barrier.

Australian scuba divers jump out of boats and descend
to an inhuman pressure. Rockets launch for space.

But I make cups of hot cocoa. I sit. I wrap a quilt
around my cock. It's okay, I say, It's not real.


First appeared in The Los Angeles Review, No. 5, 2008.

Also in Sprung, San Francisco Bay Press, 2012.

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