Archive for the ‘Neil Ellman’ Category

By Neil Ellman

I killed a whale on the way to work today
I swallowed the moon
I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I think
I struck out in the bottom of the ninth

I saw an angel at the zoo

I was face-to-face with God on a slice of toast
I fell asleep in the middle of a dream
I played the clown who swept his shadow with a broom
I suckled at the breast of a wildebeest
I laid a platinum scrambled egg

I made love to her behind the monkey house

I kissed the buckle on Orion’s belt
I solved the riddle of the dwarf and bird
I climbed to the top of a mammoth’s head and into its ear
I spoke to eternity and it spoke back

I watched her leave with sawdust in her mouth

I spoke at length with a dragon in its lair
I found the tooth of a coelocanth in a can of beans
I took a bubble bath in a mermaid’s tub
I dove without air to the bottom of the Mariana Trench

I never knew her name.

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Little Hand

By Neil Ellman

for Mayer


Almost the dream I had almost the same dream I had so many times the dream I had of little things small things small minus small minus the size of a tiny hand in the dream that I had reaching with opposable improbable almost possible sweep in the dream that I had of a tiny hand.


Littles hand your hand how it reaches beyond my reach the reach of my smallest hand how it reaches for my dream in my dream at the end of my fingertips on my smallest hand you reach beyond my dream.


Almost my hand maybe yours this hand in the dream I had so soft this hand so small holding in the dream I had my dream the possibility of a tiny hand holding my hand in a dream.

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By Neil Ellman

(after Salvador Dali, 1938)

When a dish of fruit
Is not a dish of fruit
But is a face
Content to be a face
Filled with oranges
And tangerines
Persimmons and pears
Silver bells and cockle shells
A smiling dish of fruit
But not.

When a face is not
A face
But is a smiling dish
Of fruit
Content to be a face
With eyes like shells
And nose and lips
Like anybody’s
Nose and lips
But on a dish of fruit
But not.

It is an apparition
Of a dish of fruit
Or face–
It is what it is
Or not.

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