Two Poems by Ori Fienberg, Originally Published in Vol. 10


Novelty Trade Treaties

There’s no way to make a profit on a call
for international unity, no way to solve a
distribution function without a point of sale;
you have to learn to accept, you have to
learn to just say, thank you to thank you;
it’s an ill-wind that blows no ships into port
to deliver this gentle tyranny of consumer
durables. Science shows that our strategic
popsicle reserves are depleting faster than
ever before; isn’t that sad? What will our
grandchildren dream about now besides
the sealed and secret Ny-Alesund Global Ice
Lolly Vault, bulwark against liquid push pops,
tamarindo paletas’ topple risk, yukimi mochi
slouching on skewers, floppy Fla-Vor-Ice, or
tripartite nuclear treaty rocket pops, assuring
mutual melt destruction. But what warranties
are truly warranted, what protections against
defects will arrest us in our street for violating
the terms of service written on the prophet’s
discarded sandwich-board, festooned by leaky
Starbucks cups: in days of old, it was recycled;
you dropped empties at the porch, and then
a milkman came and refilled them with bottle
sized milkmen. Now to get anything you must
name drop, egg drop, lemon drop, beat drop,
bear drop nepotism; but, at least look where
your son is now; it’s reassuring that he’s five
klicks from our coolest, most pervious border.

It’s Perfectly Natural

That the autumn clematis bloomed in the evening
three weeks ago, with nary a federal holiday in sight

but has been gathering strength without display ever
since. It’s perfectly natural for Joe Biden to be at my

home digging in beds and under the seat cushions
for loose change; after all, he did email personally

about a crucial FEC deadline approaching. It’s only
natural that we know nothing about the worst fires,

about a billion points of light still dark and unknown
on north American maps. You can never forget how

easy it is to swallow a sweet, convenient lie (all we
choke on now is hidden to us; we can only assume

what grabs at our throats), but the worst thing we can
do is become detached, lose focus on loose spouts,

or loosen our grasp on what’s at stake; purple bumbles
dangle, as an assertive vine claims everything around it.

Both poems originally appeared in the 2020 print issue of Heavy Feather Review, Vol. 10.

Ori Fienberg is a Jewish, XXY writer with work appearing and forthcoming in venues including the Cincinnati Review, Cold Mountain Review, PANK, and Rattle. His collection of prose poetry Old Habits, New Markets, was chosen as the winner of the Elsewhere 2020 Chapbook Contest. He teaches poetry writing for Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies. Read more at and follow @ArtfulHerring for poetry and political tweets.

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