Lisa Zaran

Lisa Zaran was born in 1969 in Los Angeles, California. She is an American poet, essayist and the author of six collections including The Blondes Lay Content and the sometimes girl, the latter of which was the focus of a year long translation course in Germany. Subsequently published to German in 2006 under the title: das manchmal madchen .  Selections from her other books have been translated to Bangla, Hindi,  Arabic, Chinese, German, Dutch, Persian and Serbian. Her poems have  appeared in hundreds of literary journals, magazines, broadsides,  anthologies and e-zines including: Juked, Ramshackle Review,  Apparatus Magazine, Hudson Review, Black Dirt, Other Voices, Kritya, The Dande Review, Soul to Soul, Nomad's Choir Poetry Journal, Not a Muse Anthology, Best of the Web 2010, Literature: an intro to Reading and  Writing by Pearson as well as being performed in Glasgow's Radio Theater Group and displayed in SONS, a museum in Kruishoutem, Belgium . Lisa is founder and editor of Contemporary American Voices , an online  collection of poetry by American poets. She is also the author of Dear Bob Dylan , a collection of letters to her muse. Her seventh collection, If It We (Lummox Press) is projected for an early 2012 release. She lives and writes in Arizona.


Who's to say
what unhappiness is

where it stems from.
If you, yesterday's boy,

today's confusion,
were the root

of all my sorrow.

If you were not
the pleasure

I gave birth to
and in return

you annihilate
all that's been given,

am I not allowed
a watershed of tears

falling from my heart?

It's too much, sometimes,
trying to understand each other.

I live my life shaped
like a pale daughter.

You live yours, imprisoned,
a wounded animal.

Meanwhile, outside
all life is being lived.

Day and night
there are children, animals,

mothers, fathers,
accidents and interruptions.

And even in the soft shape
of evening's moon fall,




Who can tell
along the sloping
plains of despair

what has grown
what has become

If I am a flower
and if it should rain,
do I bloom like a star

or drown. Lie close
to the ground and sleep,
numb to everything.

Say all hope was dispelled,
with part patience, part
regret, could I

tell it to the mountain?
Would my heart
understand what my lips

were saying?



My hope
is a red shadow
that never touches ground

A harp
of broken tones
deep in the heart
nothing but an instrument

of insignificant sound.



Cry to the broken cell phone
and the hole punched wall
about the burden of feeling ill,
the unrecognizable sickness

of withdrawal. Tell the empty
cupboard how you feel. See
how well it listens. Scream
at the top of your death-stricken

lungs, for all I care. The older
I get, the younger you seem.
A game I can't get into
or understand.


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