Three Poems by Karren Alenier






making mythology on an island in the Ionian Sea

when the parea this time
three sympaticos decided
to spend a week on the island
Lefkada the cousins balked
so Italian but then convinced
us to travel there by bus they
left first stayed in guestquarters
at the port close to the bus
depot we rented a three
bedroom Airbnb other side
of towncenter so easily
walkable from oneplace
to the other the cousins
eyes bigger than Cyclops
questioned what do you do
with all those rooms a capella
we crooned we dream and drove
these dissembling Greeks
into the hills to a fly me bar
for sunset the cocktails and couches
comforted in the morning we were
shaken from our beds aftershock
from the mainland no no get up
and go the gods want to play

that which stands
a poem braided with text from Gertrude Stein
(eleventh stanza of Tender Buttons Rooms)

she had no choice
she the tin swelling
with muffin his erection
seer fed to bed
his daughter Pelopia
the mask silencing his exaltation
no diversion that boy cooking
to be cousin killer with Clytemnestra

after “Lunch.”—Gertrude Stein

nuncheon luncheon launch
what transpired with Gertrude
Stein’s skate break did it brake
stopped at a west end of board
dominoes with generous wings
old mountain claimed wet clothes
she couldn’t put her toe or tooth
in silken panties the noonish
fantasy of teeth swimming away

skates have grinding plates
bottom feeders they taste sweet
sex is electric

Karren LaLonde Alenier is author of eight poetry collections—including Looking for Divine Transportation (The Bunny and the Crocodile Press), winner, 2002 Towson University Prize for Literature; The Anima of Paul Bowles (MadHat Press), 2016 top staff pick, Grolier Bookshop (Boston) and in 2021 how we hold on (Broadstone Books). Her opera Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On with William Banfield premiered in New York City in 2005 and was favorably reviewed by The New York Times. She actively promotes contemporary literature through The Word Works. Visit

Image: Jebulon, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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