Barbara Maloutas is the 2008 Sawtooth Poetry Prize winner for the whole Marie.  Her previous book and chapbooks are In a Combination of Practices (New Issues, 2004), Coffee Hazilly (Beard of Bees, 2007) and Practices (New Michigan Press/Diagram, 2003). Harold Abramowitz of Les Figues Press recently chose Barbara’s Her Not Blessed, as the first place winner in response to his work, Not Blessed.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including Aufgabe, FreeVerse, Segue, Tarpaulin Sky, Good Foot, The New Review of Literature, bird dog, dusie, elimae, Greatcoat, Octopus and Kadar Koli. Her work is anthologized in Intersections: Innovative Poets of Southern California (Green Integer, 2005) and online in the 5th Anniversary Issue of Segue (Miami University-Middletown, 2006). Barbara also makes and exhibits artist books and works and collaborates with the lab works at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.


way before breakfast
way before I usually     leave for work
I call Norma         she is east
this is business
I know her voice     hear
its voice-mail version     in
Saline     Michigan      over again     (must be lake-coastal—
the reference to salt)
it’s an either/or     take or leave and don’t ask         

what is time
what time is
who’s serving it     not why but what
for further details use the full-on
navigation system
a drag of knots        counting beats

press one
if you want to avoid
the long explanation
it may not apply

she is busy         stringing another line
or just not there or if still (still there)
around somewhere     used to almost
expecting a page   
            a full moon tangle
accidentally drawn tight
some quarter lapse of time
and we tie nerves     so bundled under star blood sails
my own voice crackles 

Published in:     the whole Marie, (Ahsahta Press)
        Poetry Daily, 2009


AIR        1

how it takes; air; we sit in it—the air; we breathe in; in—animal animate anima; and out again; how we breathe—ourselves alive; it is skin around us; it—not us; it breathes and bellows; we in it; and out now
    and if air is acted on; in the rising of warm air; sun acts; acts on air—warm air; swoops towards cool—evening; for evening cool; there is only so much—air; as a pie is divided; one piece at a time; a bit of fresh air
    the tumble of—wind; the amount is constant; or perhaps not—the question; we can’t see wind—but evidence of; and temperatures vary; constant describes air scientifically; in motion constantly; it’s the old wind in the willows; forecasting winds tonight—called relentless

AIR        2

as canaries; as birds—do not keep them; do not room; a room being painted; has an odor of new paint; no birds in new paint; like mining birds in mines; yellow birds; a bird warning—of bad air
    do not; likewise; the wisdom of like; set a cage in a window; the point; the wisdom; use a cage or head cover; a draft is injurious; like injury air
    birds; do not keep birds; for a start as dental in thē-a; as aunt in the end; so write—thē-a An-a-sta-see-a; Anastasia keeps birds in cages; swinging cages from a ceiling; lots of birds; thē-o; Costa in bed; uncle collector; of taxes—and birds; below—their chirping; it was thē-o; who together kept birds; ill with fever
     if you intend to breed; birds—say in spring; do not cage—in winter together; during winter birds don’t even breed; won’t is a question; single birds kept in a room—as birds breeding;  or males and females in mating season—similar; in the same room; like thē-o and thē-a in bed; in separate—cages; causing mating—fever

Published in: Interbirth Books Anthology
                Kador Koli 5

Barbara Maloutas poet at Moonday Poetry

© 2010 Barbara Maloutas

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