UnWelcomed, UnAskedFor | Lisa Marie Brodsky

UnWelcomed, UnAskedFor 

by Lisa Marie Brodsky


UnWelcomed, UnAskedFor

Part One: Owls

(after “Threshold” by Olena Kalytiak Davis)


UnWelcomed & UnExpected, you say he stepped into your house

Past a litany of items on your fridge:

             photos of summer vacations, your “well-appointed LIFE”


My mother’s unWelcomed men walked the fork

that led one way to my room, the other to hers


I believe

at the age of three

I heard. Something. Because I awoke

with a yawp


I think I heard (both?) men and now at thirty-eight

I can’t un-

hear them


Part Two: Egg Skins

(after Davis’ “I Had a Ski-Masked Rapist in My House”)


              It’s crazy (I’m not kidding) how many women have the

snood and wattle hang over them in middle-nights

              It’s wild (I’m not kidding) how many don’t tell, don’t whisper

or vomit it into the bathroom toilet, don’t write it down


They take the wrestling

the big yolk-wide eyes, sheet stripped off

like egg whites, themselves


Mother’s red heat boiled just beneath her skin

as the knife pressed into

the soft, chewy dewlap of throat


             Tears leak through women’s thin scrim

             screams and obscenities many don’t consider

                                         Pr(H)im proper appROP(E)riate


Once (un)handel(ed), once the discordant cacophony is over (confused) (finalized)

I think we’d agree the toilet is the best place to toss


the underwear— peeled orange rinds torn into shrapnel,

(violent/violated/violet) bruises blooming on neck, arms, wrists— a sick souvenir


Best to spit out their words of deserving/wanting/asking for it


Flush the It right down.


Lisa Marie Brodsky is the author of “We Nod Our Dark Heads” (Parallel Press, 2008) and “Motherlung” (Salmon Poetry, 2014). Her poetry has been published in “The North American Review,” “Mom Egg Review,” “Diode Poetry Journal,” and is forthcoming in “Linden Avenue Literary Journal,” “Indicia,” among others. Lisa is at work on her third collection of poetry,departing from her usual style of work. She risks sounding insane with every submission, but takes delight in discovering new creative avenues to explore and new genres to twist. Lisa works as a Job Coach for adults with disabilities and also moonlights as a Creativity Advocate for writers in need of a cheerleader. More info can be found at www.lisamariebrodsky.blogspot.com


Sleep is an Isthmus | Lisa Marie Brodsky

Sleep is an Isthmus

by Lisa Marie Brodsky


On this side, it is you and on that side,

a dream of sanity


waiting for you on the lake’s glassy floor

asking, will you fall through should


your eyes close? You needn’t worry;

snails stick to your seat


and make a mess, but minimal.

A minor inconvenience


compared to the insomnia

that glues your eyes open.


You might as well be fed impaled fish

& rocked back & forth by a neglectful mother.


Your fingers wiggle in water

like worms searching for their ancestors


and dream a drowning, a fall, a reflective

cloud-casket planted on land you can’t reach.


You feel only the night’s longing

to remain night forever


the same way you yearn for rest, for the moon

to give up its right to keep you.


Lisa Marie Brodsky is the author of poetry collections, “We Nod Our Dark Heads” (Parallel Press, 2008), and “Motherlung” (Salmon Poetry, 2014), which received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her poetry has been published in The North American Review, Mom Egg Review, Peacock Journal, Diode Poetry Journal, Verse Wisconsin, SUSAN/The Journal, Poetry Quarterly, and has work forthcoming in The Linden Avenue Literary Journal and Barrow Street. In 2016 she was anthologized in “Even the Daybreak: 35 Years in Salmon Poetry.” As faculty member at AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop, Brodsky teaches classes on emotional healing through creative writing. Her web site can be found at: www.lisamariebrodsky.blogspot.com