Surface Translations

By Lisa Fishman b. 1966 Lisa Fishman

Near Lion,

       Bliss mimes.

Shy.  Fish hat, two bandaids.

       pith : flee

cat light

fat cloak

                                       Dear Orion,   

                                              This rhymes.

                                       I.  Wish that, you had stayed.

                                              with : me

                                       that night

                                       that broke


Hear Why an

    oar slides

off the boat.

See thin

blue chance

hum there a fourth

in rows.

                                       Dear Orion

                                           More rhymes.

                                       Cough.  A throat.


                                       to dance

                                       somewhere the north

                                       wind blows.


Clear My One

    clogged throat.

Reverse rhyme.

Switch surface,

depth.  Carry across

the two

of me, from

you, or


                                       Dear Orion

                                           Bog, moat.

                                       Peverse sign.

                                       Hitch surfeit,

                                       step. Wary of dross

                                       a new

                                       love she, some

                                       clue. For,



Steer Me

       Bliss chimes.

Why, dish-flat

too bad, frayed.

       Flint sea.

Sad height

at float

                                       Dear She

                                              This rhymes.

                                       I, wish-that

                                       you had, stayed.

                                              With me.

                                       That night

                                       that broke

Lisa Fishman, “Surface Translations” from Dear, Read. Copyright © 2002 by Lisa Fishman. Reprinted by permission of Ahsahta Press.

Source: Dear, Read (Ahsahta Press, 2002)

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Poet Lisa Fishman b. 1966

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited Love, Heartache & Loss


Lisa Fishman grew up in Pontiac, Michigan. She earned a BA at Michigan State University, where she studied with Diane Wakoski; an MFA at Western Michigan University, where she studied with William Olsen; and a PhD in literature at the University of Utah, with a dissertation on Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poetics.
Influenced by the British Romantic poets and the pastoral tradition, Fishman composes haunting poems that explore the . . .

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Poems by Lisa Fishman

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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