Poetry and Prose from In Posse Review


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    (when he is haunted by hearing Katrina's crazed voice)

Jeffrey Ethan Lee



I think


of those

who were

truly great




I saw

the best

minds of

my generation






his side

I’m tired of ventriloquy,

my own voice misses me—

I’m down to my last

ditch ef-fing

at the inef-

fable voice

weakening until

I cannot hear it—

haunting me

even now,

she’s many years later

a surprise long after

she was young and


it’s a pain

to know I could see

and not know her now—

was she the one

sitting alone in that alley

by my door

an exile or

a clown in army surplus

dregs in the rain

smelling drunk

and who else left

smudges on my name

by the bell

and night deepening

her footsteps


did she walk out

of the drizzle and

into her grave

pregnant with replies?

the bus full of

fluorescent passengers slides by

striding pedestrians—

and if “life is boring”

and if “we must not say so,”

I will say so—

say so I heard

her reciting from

her cartoon books,

her crayon diaries,

her mumbles—

her side

“Listen man, Charlie Chan was

secretly white as Spock or

Chewbacca or any



Deserve what you get,

turned on the set.

Alas, that they

should bear

no colors there

in the putriful future,

the ever cruddy now.

There must be sum weight

ounces hear,

said the beggar

to Big Cheese.

Let me word-soup you

wi’ this: Lettuce

give peas a chance,

‘n all that

we are SANE

is a big Ho Hum.

There’s no way

to peas,

curds are the whey.

Lay your sleeping head

my love

humming on my

faceful of arm,

but soft

o my sorrow,

go far

from the job—

slave (I mean— save)

yourself before the

bosses finger you out.

Find a place

where it rains

warm and clear suddenly

sun shooting through

the smell of mango


Renumber me,

remire me,

doNUT forget...”


Jeffrey Ethan Lee Lee's 2006 poetry book, identity papers was a 2007 Colorado Book Award finalist (http://www.identitypapers.org), and his 2004 poetry book invisible sister was praised in American Book Review etc. Lee won the 2002 Sow's Ear Poetry Chapbook prize for The Sylf (2003) and created identity papers on CD for Drimala Records. He published hundreds of poems, stories and essays in Many Mountains Moving, North American Review, African American Review, American Poetry Review, Xconnect, Crazyhorse, Washington Square. He also won the first Tupelo Press award for literary fiction in 2001 for a novel, The Autobiography of Somebody Else.

Audio of this poem read live on the Living Writers Series WMUH 91.7 Allentown, 2008, featuring the author and actress Amy Bauer is available here. The author wishes to dedicate this poem to crazy women artists everywhere.

He currently teaches creative writing at West Chester University. He has a Ph.D. and an MFA from NYU. He is the Senior Poetry Editor for Many Mountains Moving, Inc. (since 2007) and one of the directors of the MMM journal and the MMM small poetry press. His books have been used at the MFA Program of Ashland University, the Honors College of Penn State Erie, the Honors Program at Drexel University, LeMoyne College, SUNY Albany, and elsewhere.