2 Poems by Tara Orzolek


Lightening struck and nothing was ever
the same. I had a vision of my father
looking at me and seeing his own self
changing. Alexa, are you listening?
It's 1.58 in the morning or rather
very late and I am hearing low long
sounds like what I believe whales
would sound like. The clock is brighter
than I remember and I wonder
if there is some sort of electric
spirit trying to make it brighter
as a message. Trying to tenderly
invade my darkness. It is like
an oversized mammal in limbo
but nearly breaking through
and wandering alone and mourning
his lost soul, which is the same size
as mine, with its carapace of boniness
and the propensity to fuck all good
things up, like the warm salt sea bath
the whale was taking when he fell
from grace into electronic limbo.



I prefer fake flowers because they allow
me to sanitize my heart, and insects will not
root aimlessly within my house.
They’re searching for something that cares,
for an investment in the real. Instead I ask you:
What if the prologue was wrecked from
the start? I mean completely capsized?
Unsalvageable. That worn narrative
that we display as pieces of important furniture
or for important dinner guests, if you ever
have any. Out of sheer luck you have come
this far, not by the graces of your ingenuity
(which some would say never existed).
I built a mansion through a strange collusion
of chemicals. I’ll take the bad reputation
that comes with polyester daisies and turn
it into gold, like Rumpelstiltskin. It will
float on a bed of fake flowers that
you will think are real.

Tara Orzolek is an artist and writer living in Northampton, Massachusetts. Her poetry has appeared in Columbia Journal and is forthcoming in The Laurel Review and Word For/Word.

Elijah Tubbs