Four Poems

By Sarah Jean Grimm





I throw my body around the room

Attempting to sweat out a decade

Of harm I’ll keep inflicting

Who am I to disrupt a pattern

Predictability is an element of trust

Control is like cruelty

It operates on a gradient

Now my body stands in

For a discarded hard drive

And I am allowed to hate anyone

Who pinches my cheeks

As much as I might hate my own

Routine piety

And catered reasoning

Elevator chatter about office floor plans

It’s futile to perform civility

Anywhere in this century

Like the rictus on a billboard hung

Where no cars are going

A traffic light blinking

On an unpaved road

Contradiction rescues me

From the tyranny of choice

It is possible to be full of sex

Without having any

That’s where miracles come from

Any object can become a terrarium

If nature is allowed to take over

Just as anything can be fermented

And consume the tastes

Of a born consumer

That’s how I never fail to notice

Churchill Downs on the airwaves

The colts streak wetly by

And I relate to the sloppy track





It’s rained every day in July

In a precarious city

Where the act of looking up

To admire the architecture

Contains the act of imagining

Future ruins


Slow violence

Lifting everything to beauty

A beauty that contains the terror

Of its own ending

Like a Russian doll

Wherein the smallest doll has the largest appetite

The contents of the earth

Will devour the earth


Suspended in a calamity so incremental

I can’t feel anything but wonder

At the census of the birds

Nesting earlier to keep pace

With the warming world


Wonder at the whale that will not let go

Of her dead calf

Nosing it around the Pacific

For seventeen days

Of Lazarus longing


At the water found on Mars

Would you drink it?

I would

I would drink it and go straight to bed

Waste not

Want not

I don’t know about that


I don’t know about this colonial tendency

To project one planet onto another

As if Earth is just a lobby for the next Earth

Leech the sun from a flower

And find a new field

Somewhere grasses aren’t yellowing down


My fellow Americans

Here’s to my sense of adventure

Flapping at half mast

To my anger

Billowing aimlessly against its lid

To my dependency

Gridlocked with wonder

At whether I or it ends first





Think of the planet

The ends you serve

People have labored here

To put their feet up at ends of days

I’ve braided my hair

And gone to work at a machine

What is the sound of the expectation

That a woman takes it all on the chin

Cold calls from out of town

Job site as erogenous zone

Smart women finish rich

Have more fun

Chest out

Shoulders back

A feeling is a fact

I have one foot in this dimension

And the other out the wherever

I’m tired of the sleeplessness

That comes

When the only sound is

The world-historical drumbeat

Of work without end

War after war






When the gel

In the back of my eye

Gets thin

A peripheral flash

The shape of a bivalve

Tells me

I am no longer young

I am softly touching

The soft expanse

Of my ear

Cartilage dipping

Imperceptibly deeper

Toward the velvet

Floor of a year



Anti-retinol sag


To spread seafoam

Over a hormonal gasp

My face should be


Skimmed milk

Pond in which no stone sinks

Beauty in the eye

Of the sum

Mollusk serum

Toner blender eraser

Anti-death hag



Sarah Jean Grimm is the author Soft Focus (Metatron, 2017) and an editor at After Hours Ltd. She is a publicist based in New York City.

9 responses to “Four Poems”

  1. Theresa Felzenberg says:

    Field Notes : You blew me away!

  2. Margaux Palmiere says:

    Your intuitive writing is both thought provoking reality & current.

  3. These poems are engaging and smart and surprising. Kudos.

  4. Ethan Stebbins says:

    “The colts streak wetly by/ And I relate to the sloppy track.” Wow. These are really really good. Thank you.

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  6. Patsy says:

    A quatrain is a four-line poem in poetry. Because they work with a variety of rhyme schemes and rhythmic patterns, quatrains are popular in poetry.


  7. Morgan Romano says:

    Great poems, I like them all, but what I really like the most is the second one. The lines are deep and I know that it came from the heart. These poems would be perfect on our Transcend Recovery Community gathering.

  8. Pablo Ascbre says:

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