About this poet

Hadara Bar-Nadav’s most recent book of poetry is The New Nudity (Saturnalia Books, 2017). Her previous books include Lullaby (with Exit Sign) (Saturnalia Books, 2013), winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize; The Frame Called Ruin (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2012); and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight (Margie/Intuit House, 2007), winner of the Margie Book Prize. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The Brilliant Fragments

To kneel by the cochineal
head of the dead.

Fragments—grammar
broken along the way.

I tell you the birds
dropped at my feet,

            eleven of them, sucked
            out of the sky, whole.

I return home.
I report the details.

The men who attempt
to control animals

tell me to bag each one,
though I am afraid

to touch their bright
stillness—

            the blank eyes
            in their blank heads.

            It is all wrong,

as are the chemical clouds
drifting from the fields

where the cows make
us milk and meat.

The sunsets beautifully hued:
oozy pink, infected apricot.

            Day after day of wrong color.

And then farm trucks encircle
the town and spray

a silver-white fog
to neutralize the air.

Twinkling stitched
to the sky

            like ghosts
            beading the wind.

Copyright © 2018 Hadara Bar-Nadav. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2018.

 

Copyright © 2018 Hadara Bar-Nadav. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2018.

 

Hadara Bar-Nadav

Hadara Bar-Nadav

Hadara Bar-Nadav’s most recent book of poetry is The New Nudity (Saturnalia Books, 2017).

by this poet

poem

Who means what it is to be human
and is scarred by childhood.

Thick and neckless. Your head shaped
like a gravestone.

A smile opens across the knuckle and disappears
every time you lift a tumbler of scotch.

Who holds a pen and lies.

Who holds a chopstick
in the language

poem
Sun

Blistered apple,
gold that molts

the eye & boils
animals in their caves.

I touch & touch

          & touch,

branding the hands
of each child.

A circle
of unmoored fury.

I see death all
around you—

          your phantomed self

poem

A zombie is a head
with a hole in it.

Layers of plastic,
putty, and crust.

The mindless
must be sated.

Mottled men who will
always return

          mouthing wet                          
          promises.                                  

You rise already