Burrowing Song, by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

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Burrowing Song, by Karen Greenbaum-Maya


The last line of Greenbaum-Maya’s opening poem, “brief bio,” says “and she takes life very very very seriously.” Fortunately for us, this is not true of the author, and she brings her rapier wit to bear on subjects as mundane as our technological foibles (“Found Poem on Dragonspeak”) and as gravely austere as the locked ward (“Bob Hope in the River Glen Psych Unit.”)

The experienced tourist wants to get lost in Paris. It’s not easy. The Eiffel Tower always shows up unexpectedly, sticking out from chestnut trees, floating over McDonald’s golden arches, thrusting like a glimpse of a woman’s haunch between Belle Époque buildings. The experienced tourist plays at getting lost. He sits down at the next random café and looks around for a hotel and a bakery. He could spend years on this dowdy stone street. He could take up a new life in a tiny corner studio shaped like the Eiffel Tower on the next street that fans out from one of those étoiles where identical streets splinter off like the quarks from a split atom. He will walk one more street and find himself standing across from his apartment, obvious as the Eiffel Tower.


— Excerpt, “Eiffel Tower”