Maria Lupinacci


Book Review of After Dinner Mints in AVQ
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Canvas, glass, wood, books—
I should have let it all burn.
Scattered, eclectic inanimates
without sense or reason.
The books were a nightmare, you said,
as well as the picture you'd painted of an apple split
down the middle to reveal its star—
I thought you wouldn’t know there is a star
in the center of an apple unless you were shown
a thing like that, or maybe
if you were distracted: looking out the kitchen window
with fruit and knife in hand, the gladiolas more vibrant
     then that last time
you remembered seeing them. You forget
that you were about to peel the skin
and without realizing—

you sliced it.  And

just like a child, you stared
at the star you created,
its almond-shaped points like tiny mouths, eyes, or
something other than half an apple
balanced proudly on your palm
until the adult in you whispers:
It’s already begun to brown,
and you toss it
into the garbage
to be burnt
with the rest of the trash. 

   Maria Lupinacci
PRIVATE n. 38 stories from the USA Autumn  2007 

Segmenting the Caterpillar


Sometimes, there is a body without eyes
and vertebrae. You see it lying there:
heap of fascia on browned grass. Dead,
so dead it scares the hell out of you.
And you run like a child, run so far you forget,
forget that this will haunt you
one day, phantom your dreams,
carry you back
to the place where you first saw it,
first felt your insides as something real,
something unforgivable–

the site of that body in the sallow


To the room with the broken door,
I leave you this:
Baloney curls and ugly sheets,
devils dancing in the paneling
chanting “Come with me,
come with me.”

A picture folded and placed
on the bed of the child who floats on the ceiling.
I snapped it, just as the light started to recede.
And the mice,
I leave you the mice--
their incessant scratching, their tiny toe nails
that I plucked out, one-at-a-time.
You will find them in the closet,
stashed beneath the summer towels
and out-grown things, they’ve kept
well there.


She was on the cover:
       Girl Missing
the outline of her cheek smudged
almost invisible into the setting.

Have you noticed how edgeless
papers have become? Midway through the words
you’ve lost the story, so you flip back
to the picture, the one on the cover
and you look at it, you look at her–
seraphic with molting wings,
as if she had already fallen
away from herself, as if

those wings had ever really existed.

  Maria Lupinacci 2005

Published in Wicked Alice Poetry Journal - Fall 4th Anniversary Issue 2005

This is not About You
or the things we forgot
to discuss, or the things we discussed
until our lips faded into our faces
and our eyes
couldn’t take another look at whatever it was
that held us at attention.

Distractions, like how I am
sitting here, fingers positioned at the keyboard
and you,

you getting out of the shower.
It’s not that you’ve chosen the towel
that drapes your waist just enough
to make me type something crazy, something like:
There is a trail that leads from navel to pelvis.

Memo: That is not an opening line!

So I draw back
to Li Xiangting’s zither
serenade of strings
and focus on the screen:
cursor skittishly flashing as if it has lost
its patience with my preoccupation.
And I think to myself I am going to write
something worthy of literal importance
      of absorption,
of brilliance–

Dynamics: the study of objects in motion.

There is a bead of water dangling from your nipple
ring, its life dependent on the depth
of your breath and my ability
to concentrate–
it is about writing

and something I will later delete.
  Maria Lupinacci 2005
Published in US 1 Publications Summer Fiction Issue - August 2005

For the Love of Word
In the house, the room reeks of Camphor,
the walls are copper. Theatrical to a degree
but not fully, not in the true essence
of the theater, its complete exaggeration,
scenes recreated and dramatized.
There is a poet I am reading--
he is fighting Jupiter, playing a Gypsy’s Cello,
strumming symphonies in allegro--
uninhibited, possessed
     Demons are a state of mind
he quotes. I believe him.

We all have our moments--
light and dark, the forever parable
pressed into a page
to later become a rotted rose
marking the time we once lived.

And on this, we build futures,
drink sour wine and recite Rimbaud.
The rich embrace us for our expressionism,
the beauty of nakedness;
smoke plumes rise from our feet
to cleanse their skeletons--
they think us gods.
Love, loss, existence:
the devil dressed in black tie,
limbs and mouth flaring,
innards worn as sequins to dress
up some whore’s poem
whose life breeds realization.

Somehow it all leads to deliverance.

  Maria Lupinacci 2005

Defining Jena
She’s something, this girl;
her coming out portrayed in abstract strokes.
She is the saffron moon
caressed by the eclipse.
You would remember her
if you met her, remember her fear
as if it were your own; her face
would be a ghost sustained within the origin
of your illusions. You would seek
a cure for her, write pages of poetry
to burn in your backyard,
watch her form mingle between flames
and the image you hold unto your self:
how naked she becomes in the shadow of smoke.
Question time before you knew her, before you understood
that sometimes
it is the words not spoken--   
the crux in its simplicity of the fact
that reality is a guise
time uses to suspend the soul.
And you would know,
that she is something.
  Maria Lupinacci 2005

Published in The NOX Anthology - Dark Poets Against Abuse (Gromagon Press, 2006)

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