2 December 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 4


I would like to openly tell you what I saw

but 1) somewhere along the road I added two letters to my name,

and this makes me slightly unaccountable.

2) I am also known to propose dances that have only one or two movements in sum.

3) When playing Peter Pan I will insist on being Tiger Lily.

4) My night vision is poor even with corrective lenses.

All of these statements are true, but you can see I lack sincerity.

Let me instead build you a farm out of some foamcore—

I mean a doll-farm—and make chicken-dolls from acorns,

paint stones I collected to look like sheep.

We can gather popcorn for the eggs our hens lay and branches of pine for the trees.

It is not the best I can do.

I'm sure if I tried I could produce a line or two about Nature,

or reveal some near-religious sudden starry idea that a million people have had before,

but as I said, I am a person who added, for rather shoddy reason,

two extra letters to what used to be an upstanding, austere-ish name.

So let's just open this little matchbox drawer and take out berries to be apples

for the horses made of corks.

About the author:

Arielle Greenberg is the author of My Kafka Century (Action Books, 2005) and Given (Verse, 2002) and the chapbook Farther Down: Songs from the Allergy Trials (New Michigan, 2003). Her poems have been included the 2004 and 2005 editions of Best American Poetry and a number of other anthologies, including Legitimate Dangers (Sarabande, 2006), and she is the recipient of a MacDowell Colony fellowship. She is co-editor of three forthcoming feminist poetry projects: with Rachel Zucker, Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections, an anthology of essays and poems (Iowa, 2008); with Lara Glenum, Gurlesque, a theory-driven poetry anthology (Saturnalia, 2009); and with Becca Klaver, an anthology of contemporary poetry on girlhood (Switchback, 2008). Greenberg also studies American subcultures and edited a college reader, Youth Subcultures: Exploring Underground America (Longman, 2006). She is the poetry editor for the journal Black Clock, a founder and co-editor of the journal Court Green, and is the founder-moderator of the poet-moms listserv. She is an Assistant Professor in the poetry program at Columbia College Chicago and lives in Evanston, IL with her family.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Arielle Greenberg at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 4, where "Doll-Farm" ran on December 2, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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