The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Dawn Lonsinger’s “Whelm”


La Fille Fragile

Her silver waist went out to sea
like petal debris, rain-tattered ma chère parfois

and my feet lessened into shore
so not even the biggest mirror could reach me

Now the sky sparks with remembering
her eyes afloat in the darkness

mon autre moi, my sad little nuptial glance

Who will risk more extremely the south of my sorrows?
Admittedly you sleep whereas your smile–

Nous avons dormi dans les beaux bâtiments
light is remorse and and what fades repairs her

Clearly, you very little till now not to be phase of phase
and the mascara is sad. She wilts the way I clutch purple
elderberries in my shirt

F’espère coïncider

How to risk more extremely la nuit? A small bridal fall?
How to make wither the quiet black city she left?

You play the door. I will play cumulus. La musique fait.
The song of lamp flowers festoons foreheads as they pass.
Probably rightly you the ailing repair, you the light of regret

Ne pas Ne pas ma chère parfois

If the peaches fall and disappear
where the peonies parcel out the moon
and our fingers scatter like lightning
bugs, des serviettes oranges pour l’occasion

Elsewhere magic acquits us

Obviously il y avait beaucoup d’oiseaux,
obviously we sleep underneath amplifying


This selection comes from Dawn Lonsinger’s book Whelm, available from Lost Horse Press. Purchase your copy here!

In addition to Whelm, Dawn Lonsinger is the author of two chapbooks: the linoleum crop (Jeanne Duval Editions; chosen by Thomas Lux as the winner of the 2007 Terminus Magazine Chapbook Contest), and The Nested Object (Dancing Girl Press). You can see the books and other things on her website: Her poems have recently appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Colorado Review, Subtropics, Crazyhorse, Guernica, Third Coast, Poetry East, and elsewhere.  Lyric essays are out in recent issues of Black Warrior Review and Western Humanities Review.  Dawn is the recipient of the Corson Bishop Prize, Smartish Pace’s Beullah Rose Prize, a Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets Fellowship, and a Fulbright Fellowship. More recently she won the Scowcroft Prize (chosen by Lidia Yuknavitch), an Academy of American Poets Prize (chosen by Heather McHugh), three Utah Arts Council Writing Awards, the Utah Writers’ Contest in prose (chosen by Susan Steinberg) and poetry (chosen by Wayne Koestenbaum), runner up for the Poetry Society of America’s Emily Dickinson Award (chosen by H.L. Hix), runner up for The Bat City Review Art & Writing Collaboration Prize (chosen by Tomaž Šalamun), and was awarded four Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes. She was also selected by Claudia Emerson for Best New Poets 2010. Dawn did her undergraduate studies at Bucknell University, majoring in English and photography.

Marika von Zellen has a BA in English and Creative Writing from Cornell College (no, not the one in Ithaca). She’s had poetry and fiction published in Open Field, Temporary Infinity, The Grin City Monthly, and the anthology Rock & Roll Saved My Soul. As an Editorial Assistant for Sundress, she’s copy-edited the book Picture Dictionary (2014); as a freelance editor she copy-edited the photography book Face It (2013). In the summer of 2012, she attended the Grin City Collective Artist Residency in Iowa. Besides writing, she enjoys theoretical physics, playing piano, ghost-hunting, climbing trees, and drinking good Czech beer. She’s also a scholar of Lewis Carroll.


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