The Works of Jared Pearce

Jared Pearce's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Albatross, Asymptote, Bird's Thumb, Angle, Belle Reve, Far Off Places, The Birmingham Arts Journal, and Apeiron.

All Poems © Jared Pearce



She gets up to shut

Out the birds, both

Bent on an aubade—

The one a squeaking

Hinge set to open the sun,

The glistering nests

Dropping us into the hunt,

The hop, the flight,

The alley cat and cross-wires;

The other a catching on

To that knob of darkness,

Holding fast to our tombs

And wombs where we

Blend and waste and build

And brace bit by bit

Into a ragged dream,

A magpie of memory,

A girl of need—

One can’t be either all

Day.  We dance as the Earth

Has taught us: We change

Ourselves in the light,

And retain what rightness

Will remain over night.

I’ve Been Watching You


When suddenly, as you’re stitching

a duvet, you say, Is there ever any funny

ballets?  I’ve never been to a ballet—

The closest was a student film without

color, the story about a couple, the whole

thing shot in a borderless living

room risen from a soundstage;

The actors were dancers, their mute

show all dance: they struggled,

Their determined faces anguished

as they flipped over the wing-chair, whisked

round the sofa and lamps. 

                                    There was

Their huffing breath, the feet thudding, a grunt,

there was the thump as the woman pounded

the flat of her hand against the chair’s arm:

In this silence she had to make him


    Look at me, look at where you’ve

driven me.  And he: We can’t go any

further than black and white, it’s not enough

to kill the words, to get me

you’ve got to read by Braille.

So I wouldn’t call it funny, really.

I go back to watching you with

the duvet, how you stretch, your fingers

seeing the seams, bridging your vision

across an acre of fabric.  I can see

why you’d want some humor, I think,

the sheet like an ocean between us,

a mirror or a screen we want and are

afraid to see, to believe, to touch across.