Lisa Marie Brodsky – Four Poems


It Becomes Her

Dandelion seeds
are symbolic
of a wandering
who will
settle into soil
and grow roots

if only
she believed
she could.
This full heart,
eyes spilling over;
there are
always reasons
to be overwhelmed

by beauty,
by suffering,
by a cello swelling
the minor key,
embracing the adagio
like a lover.
She’s a whore
to these songs

in the basement,
her ear
to keep listening,
that sweet
sick melody

that has
her into thinking
she needs it,
making her think
is it.

The Stolen Body Returns Home


upon feeling the power
of a body reclaimed

I shuttle into it.

I stretch across your chest,
a Monet canvas.

I am not stuck to the ceiling
doomed to be an observer

a lonely shadow exorcised from the body.

I lay my full weight on you,
glide like a snake

press myself into you
then lightly over you

like a lingering cloud.

Your saucer eyes open, glean in surprise.

“Is this you?” you ask

and I mouth,

“I was this wounded capsule
and no one
will steal me away again.”


The few days they have
they spend chasing slow, quiet moments

The hum of bodies collide in symphonies

the way the beginning
the end
and creates
the middle

that fantastic journey
around the world.

The Offering

I’ve finally shrunken myself. On a silver
moon night I throw tired, withered

balloons from my sixth floor window.
They make soft, singing sounds as they sink,

deflated, to the ground. The birds are quiet
and waiting. You think that’s music I make

up in the choir loft? That’s asking to be
saved from myself. I am poison. A dog drools

on the wooden floor waiting to gnaw on the leftovers.
I lay on his tongue like bacteria, a giddy child

in a hiding place. An old woman in a peacock dress
bends down and looks the dog in the eyes.

Notices how small the pupils are, how
distant the life seems. She sees

a girl falling from a sixth floor window
falling like air if air ever falls at all.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

I often write autobiographical poetry or work loosely based on my own struggles. I don’t hold much back because the empowerment a reader may feel outweighs any insecurity sharing personal details may cause on my end. I’m a firm believer in relatable writing. Readers want to feel understood and the art you give them can be an invitation to a much larger shared experience or a shared struggle. Some call this the “dark night of the soul,” some call it the years eaten by locusts. In my mind, such seasons lead to victory, showing how our version of ugly can rise out of the ground and become great beauty.

When life goes well; our lovers love us completely, our jobs are going well, our family is healthy, it’s easy to see beauty all around. We see something striking, something sensual, and beauty leaps to mind. Our body, mind; all our senses wake up.

I think, however, that we can all relate to the past we’ve crawled out from – many times a place of real difficulty and pain – and agree that has made us who we are today. We are never a finished product, never a completed piece of artwork. Beauty is often a creation in the making and the molding and refining process results in the glow about our face, the twinkle in our eye, the alluring way we hold ourselves up and attract people to us. Much of the world’s most prolific poetry and well-known pieces of art came from the writer/artist wrestling with his or her own fractured self.

But is that a depressing thought we try to avoid? The world moves so fast that we don’t often linger on our origins. We came from dust and unformed clay. Like diamonds formed from volcanic explosions, a life peppered with hardship is the molding of our character, the way we grow and strengthen. That is not to say that suffering must precipitate beauty, but those who have been through the fire do have a certain light about them, wouldn’t you say? They’ve seen the depths and are thus able to see the great heights.

7nbsp;I know I have. I might doubt my own beauty or my work’s beauty, but when I look at it through this new lens of beauty erupting from strife, I tend to stand up a little taller, lift my head a little higher and think, “Maybe the phoenix is real. Maybe the days of locusts can bring the clear, blue, beautiful sky.”

And then I hope the reader might reconsider their origins, too.


Lisa Marie Brodsky is the author of We Nod Our Dark Heads (Parallel Press, 2008) and Motherlung (Salmon Poetry, 2014), the latter winning an Outstanding Poetry recognition from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her poetry has been published in The North American Review, Mom Egg Review, among others, and is forthcoming in Diode Poetry Journal. Lisa is on faculty at AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop and is passionate about teaching other writers the emotionally healing power found in creative writing. By day a job coach for adults with disabilities, Lisa is also a Creativity Advocate, helping other writers get to a place of confident creativity by assisting them as writing coach and artistic intercessor. Lisa enjoys life in Evansville, Wisconsin with her husband and three stepchildren.