Four Dossiers, poetry by Jane Lewty


Dossier #1

It’s the year of less-than-half the true extent of time.

There is water on the moon

And on Gliese exostar 1214b.

Its constellation is all wound up.

Its struggle will last forever.

There’s even an emoji for it, a U

With a tilde, a sling dash: U̴

An oviform filled by an approximate, to mean:

∼ is now called ______ etc.

So what is your I.D.?

Just a grapheme?

Dossier #2

Immune to all type of poison

Inscrutable as any myth.

Eg. Big literature

Eg. Ptolemy’s Almagest, for

The recipient

In cathode dark space

Upper so on page because decoder left

Out so willfully.

In my next email

Let me send you another quote that may be of use

About your star sign.

Dossier #3

A screen corresponds to what its user expects of it.

Numbly wan, only a page

Or utterly sharp and scriptural.

This year, the World Digital Library shows

An illustration of what it means

To be immured.

Dossier #4

Dear grapheme,

I know you have too much to read

You’re up against the impossible

As much we ever will be.

The Ptolemy dynasty stacked papyrus to the hilt of Alexandria, and sent forgeries back
to those they borrowed from. Copies bred more copies, script as information, process
as memory. What lines remained the same, which altered? Which discarded?

You have your own library—you write me—same name as a butterfly. You jog past it.
Every day. You want to age like the hairdresser’s husband.
Last night you were rained on.

You passed by a window, where women smoked, inside and beautiful.

You walked home, again, you wrote me everything.

I dreamt of every letter’s death but I couldn’t delete.

Jane Lewty is the author of Bravura Cool (1913 Press: 2013), winner of the 1913 First Book Prize in 2011, and In One Form to Find Another, which won the CSU Poetry Center Open Book Prize in 2016. She has also co-edited two essay collections, Broadcasting Modernism (University of Florida Press, 2010) and Pornotopias: Image, Desire, Apocalypse (Litteraria Pragensia, 2009). She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and has taught at universities in the UK, The Netherlands, and the USA.


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