The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: (aviary) by Genevieve Kaplan


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Callista Buchen, is from (aviary) by Genevieve Kaplan, released by Velize Books in 2020. 

The windows, the fence

if I hadn’t been able to begin it, if the springtime
hadn’t come, the shoots hadn’t put
us to it—secret digging in the garden, down
upon wings, creating the new
undergrowth. the notion, listen: a siren
astride the bare branch. a reflection
off the web along the glass, the one smudge that glistens. home
the last place, the fenced place, we
let ourselves suffer its motion, limited
by the holding line, the sun
creeping, the shade. the lure of the soft
petal, a bird that stays, enough of the bud, the branch
to root. smooth versus dirt, landing versus taking
flight. the windows aren’t enough. the fence surrounds the yard
and is too tall. (the drainpipe stopped, even.) rivals, these branches
allowed their reach, animals their roam. what
of the distance, only rooftops, treetops, fortressed
out, undebatable, taunting limbs (and limping.)


Genevieve Kaplan is the author of (aviary) (Veliz Books, 2020)In the ice house (Red Hen Press, 2011), and four chapbooks, most recently I exit the hallway and turn right (above/ground, 2020), an anti-ode to office work. Her recent poems can be found in PositPuerto Del Solethelcan we have our ball back?, and elsewhere. She lives in southern California where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose.

Callista Buchen is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, 2019), and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, 2016). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals. She is the winner of the DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the C.D Wright conference’s Emerging Writer award, and is the founder of the Carlson-Stauffer Reading Series at Franklin College. 

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