Catherine Strisik

The Wife;
                                                    His Parkinson's.

she says:

an (in)articulated

waltz haunts

deep within his mid-

in tongues

there is terrible light


he loves her


her ankles

their mirroring

textures asymmetric

with a comma


she holds binoculars


his nerve 


already starved
when she notices the in


his arm 
not swinging



their waltz


reveals gestures’


of dopamine

plus grace plus tiptoes plus another tai chi pose


the horse has already galloped


everywhere the

haunt seizes

black substance slowed


in his





clearly an inarticulated



and after this




and waltz

and taunt

the taint


the breath


how’s your


(s)he never grows tired of (t)his

rounding (in)

articulate breath

next to their pillows



is not


from his sense



violins and our faces

The Embroiderer

What if a woman arrives at Mount Athos
undisturbed, unrestrained? What if it’s her
voluptuous figure reclining on the olive
tree’s branch of the monk’s silk-threaded
embroidery? What if she gazes out at
the monk as the monk gazes, amazed,
at the design? What if they each hesitantly
take pleasure in the sudden eye contact?
Her hands take hold of the holy mountain
man. The mountain shifts
its longing.


As if song could strip all human desire each Psalm
of fingered ritual where the Chama flows. As if
that morning air, cool abandonment where she enters
five days of monastic life fools him into fire. No.
Yes. The fire against solar dimness. That monk. As if
her then that astonished man. As if they plough
through bells. As if they shape-shift, quartz in the shape
of a whale's jaw embedded in red rock canyon.
Vastness. Behind the drawn shades a tree inches closer
to the edge of the highest. As if the man’s wide
eyes and want are damned by the body leaning damned
by the floorboard and stone the singular tree the clam-
orous brink. The music here Gregorian –
Darkness follows, shadowless cliffs touch close
to some god touch close to the goat the tepid water
pray for my leave-taking. Touch that.
Vespers about to begin. I’ve loved the folds in my
napkin, as if the spirit who tomorrow, with
passion and momentary triumph, chooses
solitude. And so the monk and I have something
to release, a small addiction to broken
bread and a delicate palm open. 

What Is My Scent

My scent is suffering,
channel between rocks; strophed
opaque hard
beneath eccentric Jupiter.

With Parkinson’s
beneath eccentric Jupiter,
the sense of smell is the first
to go.

To go.
Vanished in a mercurial
galaxy of taffeta.
My wane of feminine.
My scent is suffering.

And only a geological vein, a gullet,
and deliberate hymnals can smell it.

Deliberate hymnals can smell it
teased out through love oils.
Decades of my sex.

Decades of my sex
seep out a slippery perfume
as you, might you
miss me?

The fasting then fleeting
my suffering
beneath eccentric Jupiter.
Miss me, my scent

wild hyssop coupled
with plea.

Catherine Strisik

<em>Edit Poetry</em> Catherine Strisik

Catherine Strisik, author of Thousand-Cricket Song, 2010; her manuscripts in progress have placed as finalists and semi-finalists in many national poetry contests including the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, Cleveland State Poetry Prize, University of Wisconsin Poetry Series, Kore Press, The Washington Prize, and WordWorks Poetry Prize. She is currently writing her third collection, The Mistress. Strisik has studied poetry for decades both on her own and with mentors such as Scott Cairns, Dana Levin, Joan Houlihan, has attended numerous conferences and workshops such as Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Colrain Manuscript Conference, Arizona State University Writers' Conference, Recursos de Santa Fe, Aspen Writer's Conference, and at the Vermont Studio Center. Her varied and many publications include Drunkenboat, Tusculum Review, Comstock Review, Awakenings Review, Cider Press Review, Studio and others. She is co-editor of the online journal, Taos Journal of Poetry and Art