“Cycling,” “Utter,” and “Glass”

In Issue 78 by Stephanie Trenchard


On the ride to work I try to remember; did I make my bed?

—Wonder if I love myself, wonder if I care about my children’s children

Wonder where every plastic bottle went—each one I have sucked from and sent

on its journey, perhaps to landfill, and What does that pile look like, smells like

or will it float in a wave of other debris. Will it find friends, community of like numbers

Will it find love and rebirth becoming another vessel or

object holding another liquid— maybe bubble bath, maybe a cleanser, dumbing-down

to a lower level of product, a toxic brew even further from intimacy or a body

I wonder about the glass jars, how they shatter into shards & become sea glass,

or a glimmer in cement, endlessly reflecting or be swallowed by cows on the

roadside, or melted into a molten mass to be blown with lips into bottles for other lips,

feeding those to come. And I still wonder if I have made my bed.


I want to write things that don’t sound right,

to feel the words fold into and onto my hands

then fall away like sand—get caught in the hang nails

of my fingers and hurt and pinch—

I want to break the words in half like bread

sticks and watch the syllables flip into the air

like dust and get caught in my eyes—nonsense skewing my sight

and grab words that are transparent,

like blue and hyphen and stellar,

and words that are opaque, like chunk and bag and milk,

and melt them together into a hot poem,

blow it like glass, then watch it fuse and stretch

into a moment and then another until there is nothing but sound.


Amber cools to clear blue

as honey motion stills,

toggling dimensions,

concave, convex

Molecules organize and

air expands the surface

to the measure of heat.

Textures, bumps and lumps,

stringers and seeds disrupt

and temper as dust becomes form, soft and rounded

Cheques rainbow in a chromatic way

A figure of transparent mass

—meaning breath, a heartbeat—

moves as the light exhales,

Its shoulders relax

Egypt Syria Venice Prague Wisconsin,

and the Milky Way

Save us from the seas of plastic,

but gather a new fuel

Blowers and casters, jacks and sheers

and the Italian tools

Burning beeswax and cherrywood,

as the molten glow

of heat warms the marrow

and liquid magic feeds the soul

About the Author

Stephanie Trenchard

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Stephanie Trenchard , a visual artist, working primarily in hot glass and oil painting, out of her rural Wisconsin studio. In contrast to her once-molten-glass sculptures, which can be found in museums and collections, writing and publishing poetry is one of her cooler passions. Her poetry can be found in The Dillydoun Review, The Write Launch, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Bright Flash Review, Writers.com and The Closed Eye Open. You can find her on Twitter or on Instagram @stephanietrenchard or see her work at popelkaglass.com.

Read more work by Stephanie Trenchard .

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