Four Poems

By Alison Stone

Note: The following four poems are written in a form invented by Terrance Hayes, used in his book Hip Logic; he offers the form to other poets in The Working Poet (Scott, Minar, editor):

An eleven-line poem with a one-word title. Each of the lines ends with a word made entirely from letters in the title. Also, 1) Words must have four or more letters. 2) Words that acquire four letters due to the addition of “s” do not count. 3) Only one form of a verb is used.





Lies, the ring, the vows, my veil, the heart-

shaped frame. Brought to life by lies our three

young sons. Lies, too, nights you’d trace

your tongue from my lips to the arch

of each foot. Dumb, I trusted, certa-

in we were swans mated for life. Now I retch

with your name. Our best memories ache.

I pulverize the wedding plates, howl treache-

ry so loud the clouds must hear.

You’re a fool duped by novelty’s heat.

Uncherished by you, I marry hate.






Past a cornfield we meandered amid

vines drooping with grapes. His daring

hand freed my breast. Made

resolutions wither. The ancient game

of teasing done, we kissed until rain

drove us inside. Rider and mare.

Dizzy days and nights to read

each other’s hungers, to admire

light on muscle and curve. We aimed

for heaven, ended up mired in the drag-

down fights of fading lust. Now, near

but not touching, we lie like cut grain.






If you can’t be wise,

be fast. No cheetah stews

in indecision.  Even mouse and newt

know when to feint,

then skedaddle toward some fine

elsewhere.  Stay nimble. Sift

through your habits before they stif-

fen.   Unclench your fists.

What you can’t change, witness.

Be the sun on its bright race west—

unstoppable, burning with news.






Decide the doctor’s a liar.

Decide prayer heals. Rant

against God when it doesn’t. Trim

hope to the bone. Leave nothing for later.

Wonder who will lament

when the weather erases your name.


Wander the forest of your past. Mail

cards to everyone you’ve loved, a trail

of words like breadcrumbs. Let each line

say what you always meant.

Get it right this time.


Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (forthcoming from Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is also a visual artist and the creator of the Stone Tarot.

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