Marsha Pomerantz

Two poems from Marsha Pomerantz’s The God’s Honest Truth

followed by a note on the author

from Wanting

A Morning Song

Dirty window in the breakfast
nook wants the sun any old

way, sends every
ray awry.

Rattling down macadam with a
cart, A. surveys recycling for a

dinner gently used, sniffs B.,
in flower, drops a bottle,

making long-stem crystal
chatter up here in the hutch.

C., pacing and retracing at
the corner, wants her landlord to

come quickly with the key, looks
up at my window, wants what

from me?

D. flutters toward the grocer,
scalp peachy in the sun under

dyed brown braids, wants to put
her foot down, wants a nibble

of the deli boy.

Primly, in the planter, ivy lifts
arms up, eyes widening over all,

wants to be a juicy cactus, thick
skinned, wants to flower, wants

sight, wants the seen to spell

Dirty window wants the sun any
old way, sends every ray awry.

No E.

with the key
by noon.

Ceramic mug, clinking,
directs the traffic of a spoon.


Moor Eeffoc

Come in, then, and wait for something
to happen: the cream to darken out of

the coffee, sweet syllables to snap back
into crystals of Domino or the store

brand, spoon to spiral up and out,
cup to drain and dry. Moor Eeffoc is

“the motto of all effective realism,”
says the translator of a writer quoting

a writer in translation about immediacy:
a glass sign glimpsed from behind. Real

is no ism, but the distance from exhale
to inhale, any stretch between the eyes

that breaks parallax into component
parts, makes this habitual hand cede

its gelid gesture to an opposite, some
overheated engine that stutters here,

forgetting, inventing, leaking ink into
the burbling pool of the first thirst.


Gutman’s son, der shtumme, in the shul
vestibule, with his grunts and clutching,

his thick lips forcing toward any young
girl’s unmuted ear, the wanting bursting

in his eyes, unsaying all that was said
around him. Sprechstimme was a

neighbor we never knew, across the
lingual ledge, sidestepping melody

and meaning to get a grip. Real is
col legno, back of the bow approaching

astonished strings: the give and thud
of wood on wood, the damper as vivid

as vibration. All opaque, we try,
dumbstruck, to glance through glass

and come out crystalline.


Marsha Pomerantz’s collection of poems, The Illustrated Edge, was published by Biblioasis in 2011; poems and essays have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal,, Boston Review, Harvard Review, Literary Review, Parnassus, PN Review, Raritan, and Salamander. Selections and a statement of poetics are at Her essay “Right/Left: A Triptych” appeared in Best American Essays 2016, and the artist’s book They Run, made from her poem of that title by Claire Illouz (Chérence, France), also appeared in 2016: Her translations from the Hebrew include poetry and fiction.

Wanting first appeared in Raritan; Moor Eeffoc first appeared in PN Review.