On animate life: its profligacy, organ meats, etc. by Jessica Fjeld

Winner of the 2006 PSA Chapbook Fellowship

On animate life: its profligacy, organ meats, etc. by Jessica Fjeld, selected and introduced by Lyn Hejinian.

Edition: 500 copies of the winning books were printed by the Prolific Group and designed by Gabriele Wilson.


Jessica Fjeld is not resigned to contemporary conditions, but she has found in them the secret to happenstance. And as the last line of the last poem of the book says, "Still the trumpets sound."

—Lyn Hejinian

Creativity Storage System

The dimensions of the Arctic Ocean
correspond precisely with those of the idolater's temple.
The world is full of many things—
stethoscopes, hydrangeas, and the like—
and few of them taste sweet.

The wheelbarrow of your homestead
catch rust like ringworm on their trafficked scalps:
if the cows climb to graze
at the lip of the volcano, who will blame them?
Only the dogs will follow with nocturnes

on their long tongues.
Stretching your arms wide, still you do not
manage to resemble the albatross of your imagination.
Take heart. Then turn it upside down
and shake all the change from its pockets.

There are ocean-going barges full of our kind
of nonsense. Please—someone
stop the east wind from eating the cypress trees.
Things are ragged enough already, and mewing
as though newly hatched.

All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

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