Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

3 poems by Marlowe Daly

Tooka Talka

I called that baby Tooka Talka
because she —nearly— talked

When a string was pulled out of her hard plastic
back she made almost intelligible noises,
a mechanical infantile language

Tooka Talka—
It was odd that I
as a welfare baby should have had
such a fancy plaything

Her name
still makes me happy
and I wonder why there aren’t more names
like this in the world

Names that sound like perfection
Like joy and sweet mangoes
Fruits forbidden by geography and time

Tooka Talka—I
did not love her like a baby
I loved her like a robot.




he was never content to look at a painting on the wall
he had—always—to take it down,
to look at the back of the canvas
or at least to lift it enough to peer underneath
one time—only once—he saw a completely different
painting on the reverse,
behind this front-facing still-life of summer fruits
was a woman’s torso, nearly finished in browns and pinks
and the curve of a chin
and some open lips,
this on the back of the picnic fruits
was so much—too much—to take in
revealing that art is rarely one-sided
even when it is backed against the wall, it has its own point of view,
a painting like a spider
might have so many eyes



Inauspicious Beginning

In Eastern Nebraska we are warned
        that giant owls
              may swoop in
              and eat us.

        It seems ridiculous but
        just to be safe,
        we are watchful.

            When a cicada emerges
it is pink and white,
the shell a dull twin at its side,
            at first neither moves,
                  what things, if any, are alive?

Then it all moves as the trains pass
        over and through the night,
              shaking the earth up,
              shaking my head on its shoulders,


Marlowe Daly was one of the founders of the exciting but ill-fated literary magazine, Juggernaut. She lives on the Idaho side of the Snake River and teaches American literature and writing at Lewis-Clark State College. Her poems have appeared recently in Northern Cardinal Review and Bone Parade.


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