shanna compton

We’re loving it.

A blue photograph
of course contains sky.

It was taken from a car window.
A push upward during a movement forward.
Stripes flick through the asphalt sling.

What’s passed unseen. What’s remarked.
All that’s never said, needs to be said.
Images lined up rows. Hoarded for later.

Night arcs add to a continuous sense
of April, of this year. Please welcome.

To the pink pages, thank you.
Thank you parasol. Thank you fuzzy voiced
at the mike. Thank you ice in a glass.

The road is a method, or a line joining
one possible former with a likely latter
like a ladder.

And yes, the sky is blue.
& it can be photographed.

Our official position is class piñata.
Our innermost breaks. 

The Bloody Intellect

What has she done
with her white feathered dressing gown
her getaway rococo as dream?

Misplaced her tongue
along a redundant ear
in error, in sorrow, with intent.

Beginning with white
is to erase the body,
silence the voice, blank the self
to receive the costumes it consumes.

Potted plants stand in trios,
pointed & pruned. Trained
with snipping & ties.

So public a face, hers,
it hardly belongs.
A camera. All poses. All lies.

A Novel

A woman & a man.
A woman in a dress.
A gesture of announcing.
A man giving a speech.
A woman looking shocked.
A woman looking displeased.
A man & woman looking downward.


Ladies sitting at a table talking.
Ladies drinking tea.
A lady fanning herself.
A woman pointing to the left.


A graceful speaker.
A gesture of declaring.
A gesture of meditation.
A gesture of awe or appeal.
A gesture of silence.
A man putting on his glove.
A man with his hat on.
A man at a door.
A man with a suitcase running to catch a train.


A woman & her dog at a cupboard.
A woman with food.
A gesture of wonderment.
A gesture of resignation.
A flash of anger.


A man in a tuxedo boasting.
A man expressing joy with his hands clasped.
A gesture of annoyance.
A gesture of repulsion.
A man expressing malice with clenched fists.
A man with tall boots shooting a gun into the air.
A man looking shocked.
A dandy man slouched in his chair.


Ladies drinking tea.
Ladies strolling through a park.
A woman alone in a small house.


A man sitting at a writing desk.
A man reaching to pick something up.
A gesture of remorse.
A man wrapping two small boxes in paper.


A woman sitting in a chair.
A woman looking at a piece of paper.
A gesture of repulsion.
Her features softening.
A gesture of remorse.


A man at a door.
A woman standing with a bowl of flowers.
An awkward speaker.
A gesture of presentation.
A gesture of refusal.
A gesture of offering.
A gesture of receiving.
A gesture of acceptance.
Their gestures of gladness.


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shanna compton  is the author of Down Spooky (Winnow, 2005) and the editor of Gamers (Soft Skull, 2004). Other recent poems can be found (or are forthcoming) in Ping-Pong, Tool, Pebble Lake Review, and Abraham Lincoln. She's currently working on a new book called For Girls, which she plans to publish DIY style in 2007. Visit her online at




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