Judith Pacht's chapbook, User's Guide, will be published by Finishing Line Press in 2009.  Her manuscript, Vectors , was a finalist for the 2008 Philip Levine Prize, the Tupelo Press (2007-8) and the University Of Arkansas open submission competitions.  Her poetry received Honorable Mention in the 2007 Robert Frost Award competition, the 2007 Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry, and the Smartish Pace Erskine J. Poetry Prize.  Pacht was first place winner in the Georgia Poetry Society Edgar Bowers Competition, and received the Margaret Reid High Distinction Award. Her poems have been published in Ploughshares, Runes, Cider Press Review and the University of California Press.Pacht's poetry appears in numerous anthologies including From The Other World: Poems in Memory of James Wright (Lost Hills Press. 2007) and Tebot Bach's Anthology of California Poets, 2003 and 2006.  Her chapbook, also her first poetry collection, Falcon (Conflu:X Press), was published in 2004.


Surface
 
Like a motel,  the table by the bed
the dressers,  veneer,  everything
matching,  serene and restful as motels
are meant to be,  for the business traveler
who clinches a merger,  the hungry lovers
who clinch and merge, 
the invisible room                                                                                                
service,  the waiter’s smile as he enters    
each opened door,   
                                                
although you know,  some days
with an ear to the facing,  you can hear
the plywood peeling strip by strip,
the glue melting,  dissolving to liquid,   
and in a wind the water roils oily black 
or turns viscous,  even tears the heart,
all the while the veneer’s shining smooth,  the grain
unmarked,
 
and who would know,  or even care,  unless you prized
something solid,  something durable,  unless you counted on it.

Small Things
 
Red clay tradebeads in a dreadlock braid,
the scent of earth-musk after rain,
a cicada chorale shrieking in the sun,
the summer’s chalky grass,  oak-black shade.
Praise the sticky pollen on the bee’s
hind legs,  the blossom’s private parts,  the fruit.
Praise all vowels:  masa and metate,
smooth and avocado,   quesadilla.
Praise Nomo backing first base on Beltre’s throw,
Cohen reaching Ahmed,  Ahmed reaching
words both used to know,  speaking,  speaking.
Praise the wild geese rising slow,
circling after rain to taste the scent
of air,  of earth,  this earth.
 
published as "Praise Small Things"
in 
Blue Arc West, An Anthology of California Poets, (Tebot Bach Press, 2006)

AS SEEN IN A HAMMACHER SCHLEMMER CATALOGUE:
 

The Hands Free Soap Dispenser
 
allows you to apply
liquid
 
to any part of your
or someone else’s
 
body   say a thigh
or
 
without having to touch
someone else’s nevermind
 
no pumps   no handles
(to prevent cross-contamination)
 
unless you wildly desire
cross-contamination    be advised:
 
an infrared sensor
detects the proximity of
 
your   or your loved one’s
parts
 
& the dispenser has
a ½ second delay   to insure
 
proper placement
under the nozzle
 
you can regulate the speed
at which liquid is released
 
from your   or his  or the dispenser’s
stainless steel body
 
& all this can be done
on a countertop   or mounted on a wall
 
whichever way you like it
hardware included                    

From 
User' Guide forthcoming from Frontline Press


Judith Pacht Poet

© 2008 Judith Pacht


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