Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Sobriquets’ and other poems

By: KJ Hannah Greenberg


After the mumblecrust’s diddums set down alongside the woman’s bouquet,
She blushed, held her breath, exhaled. Then she wailed; not seeking respect,
But common courtesy, the youthful bride, a biddable female, never forecast
Herself attacked by a less blessed somebody. Quickly, a runnel of tears wet
That creaseless face. The dandled, immature woman felt no sidewalk safety.

Shaking his head, her husband heard the tale of the baleful, pestiferous man.
That spouse, a smellfungus, who rarely lacked criticism for his wife, let out
Sardonic words, not toward the homeless perpetrator, but toward his hapless
Partner. Ever the faultfinder, he chastised her taking a walkabout, trouncing
Her assumed impunity from common abuse, complaining that too regularly
She allowed others to crowd, to thump without resolutely defending herself.

Sighing over her significant other’s proclamation, over his captious censure,
Over his nettle-like rhetoric, she lifted her skirts and petticoats a bit, circled,
Left behind his hypocritical, habitual deprecation. She attempted, once more,
To wander beyond their home. Meaningless matters oughtn’t to receive such
Glowering responses. Contrariwise, profound subjects, like her state of well-
Being undeniably deserved more favorable reception. Later, the lass donated
A week’s boardinghouse rental for the itinerant, sought a solicitor for herself.


Your Peaked Sine Wave of Good Ideas

Certain adequations make no difference when confronting
Historic hurts. Legacies’ equivalences can’t be caused to
Equal exculpatory communication.

Weight the plight of brothers long since parted over rivalry,
Over finding favor from abusive parents. Consider, too, the
Unlikely return of trust after adultery.

Additionally, when animals are abused, their closest approach
To substitute carers is a well-placed bite, a bloodletting notch,
Else a swipe of bacteria-laden claws.

Similarly, your peaked sine wave of good ideas collapsed after
That “mysterious” text revealed some unwise investments of
Our joint monies: you failed by embezzling.



Consequently, it’s inescapable for
Me to delineate feelings before delving
Into our numerous, aforementioned issues.

My conceptualization of “Truth”
Rests on a firm epistemic base that
Brings along no further objectification.

Bridging our perspectives’ incongruencies
Could aid us in organizing our hearts, might
Allow us to share aspects of intense life plans.

When we’re piloted by these acuities, we
Replenish our organizational/summarizing,
Focusing, clarifying, observational dominions.

Let’s try to glean the beginnings of answers,
Or, minimally, some motivation to explore sure
Questions, rather than to decry our enduring faults.



My kitchen still life, at times, includes
Little spheres of chopped lamb or beef,
Covered by velveteen tomatoes, garlic,
Onions, celery, also parsley.

Other days, my counters fully bloom
Spiced collections of stone fruit, with
Apricots, plums, & overripe peaches,
Maybe apples or pears.

Salads, like lawn grass, swathe cooled
Shelves, their cucumbers, endive, bits
Of romaine plus iceberg nearly always
Ready for tasting.

Best, though, remains the lemon slices
Floating in my ancient Tupperware jug,
Their bitter rinds add heaped piquancy
To any uniform mornings.



That’s a downward slope, a tendency toward gray rock talk,
Other alienations of the kind that’re leaden, rather removed
From garrulous exchanges.

Sure, memento mori in the fashion of desiccated flowers, pets
Shriveled on their beds, the suffusing of malodors emanating
From cook pots, brings biliousness.

Self-exculpation, likewise, separates accountable folks from
More self-serving loves. That sunderance regularly unsettles
Even the boldest kin.

Unalloyed sentiments, all in all, amass the greatest coordinated
Management of meaning as they often innocently interact with
Sundry functional theories.


KJ Hannah Greenberg’s been playing with words for an awfully long time. Initially a rhetoric professor and a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar, she shed her academic laurels to romp around with a prickle of imaginary hedgehogs. Thereafter, her creative efforts have been nominated once for The Best of the Net in poetry, once for The Best of the Net in art, three times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for poetry, once for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for fiction, once for the Million Writers Award for fiction, and once for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. To boot, Hannah’s had more than forty books published and has served as an editor for several literary journals.

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