Mary G. Wilson



There are those who can’t
perceive a thing they don’t expect
so all is what they know it will be
a green field and a feathered something
to lodge in your chest with the other
political loves. Apparently
I don’t so much seek pleasure
as a void its opposite
is un-truth, charisma, vanishing            memorial / kite
the moth that brags all night
of its moon-colored body
and includes the charm
of excess, ornaments
conveyances, bees
while the internet of things
I adore sends me into silent mode
so I don’t know what
made me close the book
of the tenured poet
tonight, or why when
you tap my knee I’m still
as if suddenly present


It’s raining in the news
a storm or congress of box
jellies on the artificial reef
where some “they” sank
ships, planes and concrete
so fish could gather somewhere
offshore in their lunar cycle
return, so the sea
is a hazard today potentially            alive / lively
latent with angry living
ghosts who balk at being
called so casually
—back, the cry waits for whatever
comes out of the baby next door
and the youth get alive with new
ideas we dreamed stages of
and asleep with the new opiates
we also dreamed, some
of which were real
deadly, while the proof is
hiding in trees, formerly
capacious with blue
bottles, un-discovered
leaves striated for emphasis
the occupants
searched, found

The Persistence of Memory

If you write about something round
your writing will follow that shape.
The clock in The Persistence of Memory
a New York Pizza in the rain.
The pizza in New York—
a clock that tastes of salt and the dollars
of tourists, eating it on the curb.

Logic says a form will free us up
some rules to live by in the minefield
which is not grey but flowering
not pollinated but somehow alive
in its impossible purplish dream-scape.
So we run a search.
Pull up the street view.

Before the house stands a small girl
whose face, obscured in the rubble of
the foreground has been blurred
by some precision. It’s like, “look
here, you’re a tense lens mounted
to a vehicle.” Ok then.
One apostrophe will bend the eyes
false with astonishment, and then
we get the very weight of looking.

When hopeful, we imagine her
demanding bribe-money.
When cautious, we become acquisitive
as stars. Stein says there is no
astonishment or width
, but here
there is both, for ours was the cycle
of post-90’s complacency fatigue
even calling something a ruse
was an act of clarity that could split
things wide open, or so we told ourselves.

At the Joint

There’s no “we” for where this language wants to exist
not for us but for the plural between us
the shade we become to meet each other
conversationally, at the beach.
Here—the lyric is a prosthesis
a mosquito net too tight against the skin
is a grid, ineffectually
we go around begging narrative for stairs
floors, housing, that cloud has an idea
of thickening itself on the green peaks
(it has called a meeting) there’s probably even
a mill somewhere, churning wet gears
keeping both its voices separate
its labor staunch as wounds

Ether / Air

What it takes—
laminate skull un-pending
root, plotted an escape

Did the years parade lightly?
was the calcium in bloom?


Imagine if there were three oranges and two suns
and a bright sense of one setting down and the other

arrayed in a deep and bitter skin, setting us up.
We’d probably be taken for fools.

See, in the ocean, on the rippled floor
the wavering nets of light.


The sense that some days are auspicious, some nights
closed for business, some ganglia arranged to please

that some men are verbose in possession and lack
some women, holding the doors

that some bread contains, absorbs
seeks company, travels


Un-mingling with other
less clearly productive waters
this island could feed
and carry our blood away.
Eyelet and net shadow.
Weird canopy whether gold.
When at last we’re hopeful.
Secure from our want

Mary G. Wilson is the author of the chapbooks Both, Apollo (Omnidawn, 2022) and Not Yet (Projective Industries, 2019). Her poetry has appeared in Baest, Typo, Paperbag, The Scores, Elderly, Coconut, and elsewhere. She is currently a lecturer in English at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.
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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.