Bend Back Any Farther And You’ll Be On The Floor

Alicia Askenase

Be gentle when you sweep 
that mat.
It might buckle up 
and trip you.

Canine Democracy

Wild dogs vote on whether to go on a hunt
by sneezing. If the leader of the pack 
sneezes, they need fewer sneezers:
some votes count more than others.

The Cook

She must get cracking on the soup,
but the glacier that pours 
from the teapot toward the cup 
causes a delay.

The Burn

A man burns her hand with a cigarette. 
The subconscious knows the truth:
it is fairly complex, yet as simple 
as telling him to stop.


The postman was in his shirt and underwear,
she said please don’t kill me.
Yet she can’t remember dream #2,
burrowed in for another night.

July 2016

There is a Bank of America,
and directly across the street  
a large, professionally made, 
unofficial banner that says:


Alicia Askenase is a poet and educator who has served as a founding co-editor of the poetry journal 6ix, and Literary Program Director at the Walt Whitman Art Center In Camden, N.J. She is the author of four chapbooks. Writing has appeared in recent anthologies: New Works by Philadelphia Poets, and Not Our President. Her journal publications includeKiosk, Chain, Poetry New York, The World, 6ix, Feminist Studies, Journal of Modern Languages, Poppycock, Mad Poets Review, and Big Bridge. One of her poems was selected as an Editor’s Choicein the2018 Sandy Crimmins Prize.She has work forthcoming in the new edition of Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets, ed. Valerie Fox and Lynn Levin, Texture Press.