Martha Zweig


Anything to anyone, no truth I’ll tell,
still I make up a humming hymn,
take another flirt at the world.

Even as I sputter & snap,
I spread to fold shut to spread open that one
more eyelet fan glance.

Heart’s murmur: not to get suckered & sapped
again by the likes of you, or by your other
lovers either, bluedevil dirty earth you,

but as I knock your gory locks of lice
& beggary, strategy, calculus, scrapheap
scrubbed & pricked to glitter, you might
mind me a bit sweeter than heaped scorn.

Do I demean myself indigo then, to incur
daylight’s own resignation from bed beside
windows without a word, reviving my natal

ignorance & illiteracy so as to catch up
the quicker to those already
dead-&-gone? Who don’t wait forever.

In April

Spring coils along in the mud slush
exposing to first light last
year’s last yard tasks undone: one:
another: alternate improvisations made in fits
of irritation. A love affair that seeps.

Any day now
someone’s sure to erupt in frolic. Dark
Blake it was who made that little lamb lurk
to witness my own stubborn
wits’ collapse into antics but not yet.

Today candles pinch in a clutch to hiss
my birthday rumors. Dear
dead mother not kissed often now, & truth
to tell not missed until more dirt
than this rips open green, be still.


The bride wore flip-flops & wriggled
her blue-enameled toes in edgy
surf: surf

slid & hissed various ways aside, backed out. Soaked
sand puckered & popped little bubbles.
Still I envy.

Light-years away a silly-star’s
hot heart churns the slurries wherein silly
originates & flings off.

O my dear I loop around,
I focus my senses to zero in & yet just
miss you.


–after a line from Louise Glück

Everything went into the car
to hide from everything else. Nobody
let drop a clue or startled one.

If the car coughed politely, if it aroused
a muscle memory, if it ground gravel & spun
itself from behind, we were off

until everything spilled out of the car, never
to go home. We all went fishing except
mother’s lover & mother who stayed behind
in the cabin where just outside the white curls
edging the ocean heaved & swooped the sand.

Captain gaffed & netted our big haddocks, big cods.
They thumped in the box & bled.
We filled the box, a fine day for all.
Everything went in the box.

Martha Zweig’s collections include GET LOST; MONKEY LIGHTNING, WHAT KIND and VINEGAR BONE, plus chapbooks POWERS and A SKIRMISH OF HARKS. Her recognitions include MFA from Warren Wilson, Hopwoods, a Whiting Award, and Pushcart and Best-of-the-Net nominations. She lives in Vermont where she worked ten years handling garments in a pajama factory (including a term as ILGWU shop chair) and ten years as an advocate for seniors.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( 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.