The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Lucy Ives’ “Orange Roses”



One man’s insanity, smell of
His sweat where he comes
To drink in the shade

The hanging face
Whining, and quiet, every
Few minutes—some hungry
Birds overhead

White heels on his sneakers


Like a cat can
See things out of order


Most obvious—most difficult
To remember

A young balding man in blue
Airline socks and
Short tie with a photo of
An eagle came into
The church yard holding the
Hands of two women

He said
“Why aren’t we


the red boxes drawn over
the limestone face of
the boy’s school

the red boxes of tulips

“I thought she wasn’t even
going to be sick that
long,” said a woman
[next to me] into her phone

a short woman in a
blue plastic coat

a pair of shoes with
shells sewn in


on sale shirts open like
roses cross the floor

there is a woman
kneeling in a black scarf

sunglasses on tables
cards & kids’ novels

“I hate it when people look
backwards, I’m like
Look up! Look up!


A girl with cell phone pressed
To her gray and red face
Cries, “But she already
Went and did it!” Her
Eyes like diamonds, big
And square

The man with white dust on his
Hands in the train flipping
His phone shut and then
Open, and sleeping then

The lean man in a jean
Suit with the words
“PIPE WORKS” printed across
The top

The man next to us

Shaking his head, his
Single diamond earring

“I’ll call you, I still need
To have lunch

2 rubber bracelets
At his wrists
Pale dragon and crosses

A cup of orange drink in his
Left hand; the flag on a string

Clear plastic cone


The cup of flame above
The refinery

Red floor of the landfill
By the yard of red and white

Violet clouds
White plains

above the cement sides of this
highway are tree tops

the U-HAUL headquarters was once
the town hall

docks and crates break apart

below ads in which two muscular

children hold glass bottles


Gray curl of a helicopter

Plastic lamb



“As long as you don’t think
About it like work, what
You’re doing is probably cool

“Fuck it looks like Seattle, like
Vegas, both

Pigeons across

Translucence of a setting lawn

Pretzel broken
Open by someone’s feet


“You can’t see so you
Gotta just throw your hands
Up and hold yourself

Brown cellophane
Tugged from a
Crushed cassette tape

Red parallel the iron
Track and comes past






This selection comes from Lucy Ives’ book Orange Roses, available from Ahsahta Press. Purchase your copy here!

Lucy Ives was born in New York City in 1980, received an AB, magna cum laude, from Harvard College, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is currently completing a PhD in comparative literature at New York University. She has lived outside the U.S. for extended periods in Hirosaki, Japan, and Paris and has studied French, German, Greek, Japanese, and Latin, among other languages. A deputy editor with Triple Canopy, the arts magazine and publisher, Ives continues to live in New York.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.


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