Aleda Bliss – Five Poems


i lay down in the grass
with my finger on a bone.
your skin becomes the focus
of the blade between my teeth. 
you make it hard to stay still in my jeans.
i want to jump into the nearest river naked.

above the knee

winning you is not a prize,
a target i have marked.
what questions i once had
are now obsolete.
the journey unreturned
the answer insufficient,
as if sufficiency is all
we require of love.
i want
                           because i live
to be wholly
a traveler.
something unexpected
shaking up my spine.
voyage, i said to you
underneath the sheet.

24 hours, washington heights

the quietness
startles me
       folding, unfolding
the bread of our meal
your hands
an unteachable

bells on her toes

silver scaled knight on his knees
in the dark
lean hands breathe beneath
sheaths as they tender
her robe
                        without you my lady  
                             i am only a rover
he drops in her damask
gifts for his mistress
tigers’ teeth   magic leaves    nail
of a witch
she holds them and  
sets them aside  
under the elm
                 his silken head bowed  
she gathers his hair like a history
of battles
bending unceasingly towards
one end
                                lady of my lake
luring me still
she hallows the bridge
of his nose
                             with her mouth
removing the breastplate
his sword in her
                          rise now
my darling
a man
now my love
kiss me  
                                    the dragon
will wait.

rock n

illuminates strangulation,
preferring us to breathe
with our bodies flung out.
we are lightening and we flash
with the rumble of arched ecstasy.
the language of our own way.
the tremble to the truth.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

beauty, not as reproof of ugliness, but companion, compatriot, its hand in hand necessity. 
beauty, untamed, bearing brutality, borne of the deep and fertile darkness through which it reaches. a light, a light, and not without weight. 
prettiness placates. beauty is profane. 
bursting through, it serves no other, vital for itself. and self as whole, and wholly beautiful. rough and wild, tender, true.


Aleda Bliss is an actress and a poet. Her written work has appeared in The Del Sol Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Sky Island Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal and as part of The Boudica Series: A Festival of Women’s Voices in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn.