The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Genevieve Kaplan’s “In the Ice House”

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A Pace that Quickens as Night Goes On

there’s much to be put away
to restore the home’s capacity
for solid reason of its stakes
pressed deep into your decision
never to leave
and unload all in the mind
where I can foresee it
here is the ping and if I can’t stop it
I’m skeptical
who will make it home

the rain is louder here
it reaches the roof at a pace
that quickens as night goes on
by the spatula, not squelched by a murmur
dead laugh of next door: the moment striking
is the one striking now
in the jest in the wind near the sock
on the tower that narrates the breeze
up here, ad infinitum

gulps of the proposed frogs in the distance
non-discriminatory moonlight
brave-minded minnows
coy dolphins, enticing
imagining the instant when
I can tell that our progress is different
the bird feeder gone to ruin
the tomatoes to their pots
the home itself sinking slowly
so the destruction is literal

quiet evening, here the break
of the dish is the sound that resonates
the rawness I lack, are we limited by it
the gaze of the one alone
and peering and pretending not
to be there too, being seen, secret
hum of your motors
running the home
the day long last reclining

the night crouching down
the sun there only to imagine
what it’d be like without the tiger
the llama, the patient heart-shaped locket
looking for again the one way
I keep insisting upon
where the house meets the ground
and my hands meet the dirt.


This selection comes from Genevieve Kaplan’s collection In the Ice House, available now from Red Hen Press. Purchase your copy here!

Genevieve Kaplan is the author of In the ice house (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation‘s poetry publication prize, and settings for these scenes (Convulsive Editions, 2013), a chapbook of continual erasures. She lives in southern California and edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose. For more about Genevieve and her work, visit her online at

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.


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