Jane Lewty

Three poems from Mistune



ever and ever anywhere, I feel into things
things I heard, hear

the coloratura of a single voice, re-rendered

a match scanning unaired rooms

skylight open at four

pale hum of billboards

remember the sound up and down, drawing in smoke

remember over the freeway, stroking from tip to base spattered hands.

Remember sloping road to grassed pavements where your ancestors are buried.




They repeat, things like     a     nascent flicker,       whitened. A     not-cooking sm—smell              bitter       milk,       hot
grate,     palms knees    to    floor, self crossed.    A couch, in a raised house
bay window.      The
slur crack, slap, lie down,   get them       all affrighted   etc. how   ungettable as    –and   the following is hard- -there   was    a strange   elation, the skitter guilt of achievement. That’s            the cruelty        of cruelty.
When  thought   of,
it’s     calibrated rearward        wrong wrong
How can there be a
true story after, then? Any flare of capillaries brings it back
To-front.              To
skinside   up,     the
heater on frost- watch




We landlocked town, we mills, we miles   From the hallway
hidden as    an eel in sedge.
Inanition being
the best mode for us.

Remember an almost-floodlight pylon.

The die-cut kitchen, paper all, square-scored, chipboard. Cheap. Listen.
Silent. Secret.

Didn’t I show you luv      perkapella for all you non-believers
Don’t know about you but I feel alright alright
House faze joy I’m leaving

[dreamy piano]


grafting my hand from the dog

died of an overdose

[bleepy dot dot]

Let no one put asunder

what it was like

Artist’s Statement

Mistune is a project where the industrial decline of a city is registered polyvocally, tracing how a regional accent is lost, found, and lost again via certain methods, such as recalling the soundscape of 1990s dance music and the geography of a place that can never be restored, either for the individual or the community. Ultimately, anything remembered will be erratic and skewed by nostalgia, anger, and a fragmentation that becomes a layered score of words and sounds.

Jane Lewty is the author of Bravura Cool (1913 Press: 2013), selected by Fanny Howe as the winner of the 1913 First Book Prize in 2011. Her poems and essays can be found in The Volta, Dreginald, Bestoned: The New Metaphysik, jubilat, Paris Lit Up, Eleven Eleven and others. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a visiting assistant professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Amsterdam.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.