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Lisa Zaran

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 3 months ago


 *Lisa Zaran*


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 I was born on September 26, 1969 in Los Angeles, California.

I did real well in school, although I was a very shy.

When I was six years old I wrote my first poem, Hallway is what I called it.







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 My Favorite Quotes


"Could it think, the heart would stop beating."

~Fernando Pessoa




"A poem is a naked person... Some people say that I am a poet." ~Bob Dylan

"If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul." ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



"The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it." ~Sylvia Plath



"But we are sure to meet in here. If I keep you in my heart -- which I surely will -- and if you keep me in your heart -- and I hopes that you will -- then we will always have the other person anytime that we want to look in our heart."

~Mississippi John Hurt



"I see the poem or the novel ending with an open door." ~Michael Ondaatje



"Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers."

~Rainer Maria Rilke












AbOuT mE


I currently live in Araizona with my two gorgous children and my husband.

I am an American poet, essayist, author and artist. An i enjoy

my life as it has been a blessing. Most people know me by my poetry. Some of my work can

 be found in some of these books:

All Things Girl, LitPoets, Blue Print Review, The Adroitly Placed Word,

Ugly Accent, Mannequin Envy's soon to be

released anthology, Laura Hird's 'the devil has all the best t

unes', and much more.

By the time I turned 16 I have moved over 40 times accoss the

U.S.. Some of the places  I have moved to are such places like

New Mexico, Alaska, Oregon, Arizona and California.
When I was younger I spent most of my time listening to my brothers music through the room and reading poetry.
There were a number of people who influenced me. Thoes people were James
James Whitcomb Riley, Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and the Bible.
 I also love listening to music. I am a really big fan of the blues. As of today i still listen to
    The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Mozart and Luciano Pavaratti.










PoEmS oF mY oWn


It is later than late,


the simmered down darkness


of the jukebox hour.



The hour of drunkenness


and cigarettes.


The fools hour.



In my dreams,


I still smoke, cigarette after cigarette.


It's okay, I'm dreaming.


In dreams, smoking can't kill me.



It's warm outside.


I have every window open.


There's no such thing as danger,


only the dangerous face of beauty.



I am hanging at my window


like a houseplant.


I am smoking a cigarette.


I am having a drink.



The pale, blue moon is shining.


The savage stars appear.


Every fool that passes by

smiles up at me.



I drip ashes on them.


There is music playing from somewhere.

A thready, salt-sweet tune I don't know

any of the words to.

There's a gentle breeze making

hopscotch with my hair.



This is the wet blanket air of midnight.

This is the incremental hour.

This is the plastic placemat of time

between reality and make-believe.

This is tabletop dream time.


This is that faint stain on your mattress,

the one you'll discover come morning,

and wonder how.

This is the monumental moment.

The essential: look at me now.

This is the hour.



Isn't it lovely? Wake up the stars!

Isn't it fabulous? Kiss the moon!

Where is the clock? The one that

always runs ahead. The one

that always tries to crush me with

its future.


Originally published in Literati Magazine, Winter 2005.

Copyright © Lisa Zaran 2005

Go On
Born woman. Go on.

It's farther than it seems,

but okay.



Credit card's been stolen.

Go on.


Above all, remember,

whenever you cry,

husbands roll their eyes,


and children worry.


Go on.


The father that was yours

gets killed by a lung disease.


He loved you, at least you think so.

Go on.


Drink, smoke, do drugs.


Go on.


Drag your crippled bones

to work. Hate your boss

behind her back. Smile


to her face. Go on.


Eat. Don't eat. Get fat.

Get skinny. Go on.


Time fragments.

Space fractures.

Lives intersect.

Wombs bloom


with new life. Go on.



Hold on.


Originally published by Dicey Brown, Winter 2006

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2006

Talking To My Father Whose Ashes Sit In A Closet And Listen
Death is not the final word.

Without ears, my father still listens,

still shrugs his shoulders

whenever I ask a question he doesn't want to answer.


I stand at the closet door, my hand on the knob,

my hip leaning against the frame and ask him

what does he think about the war in Iraq

and how does he feel about his oldest daughter

getting married to a man she met on the Internet.


Without eyes, my father still looks around.

He sees what I am trying to do, sees that I

have grown less passive with his passing,

understands my need for answers only he can provide.


I imagine him drawing a breath, sensing

his lungs once again filling with air, his thoughts ballooning.


Originally published in The Rose & Thorn, Summer 2004.

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2004

She said she collects pieces of sky,

cuts holes out of it with silver scissors,

bits of heaven she calls them.

Every day a bevy of birds flies rings

around her fingers, my chorus of wives,

she calls them. Every day she reads poetry

from dusty books she borrows from the library,

sitting in the park, she smiles at passing strangers,

yet can not seem to shake her own sad feelings.

She said that night reminds her of a cool hand

placed gently across her fevered brow, said

she likes to fall asleep beneath the stars,

that their streaks of light make her believe

that she too is going somewhere. Infinity,

she whispers as she closes her eyes,

descending into thin air, where no arms

outstretch to catch her.


Originally published in Magaera, Spring 2005.

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005

I went looking for God

but I found you instead.

Bad luck or destiny,

you decide.


Buried in the muck,

the soot of the city,

sorrow for an appetite,

devil on your left shoulder,

angel on your right.


You, with your thorny rhythms

and tragic, midnight melodies.


My heart never tried

to commit suicide before.


Originally published in Literati Magazine, Winter 2005

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005

after, when you are driving

75 miles one way just to get to her

and her wind-touched hair,

bleached white by the September

sun, the gray sky coughing up clouds,

that is when the doubts surface,

hard as stones.


it is late afternoon by the time you arrive,

the storm has already been through here.

you are not in your own element.

you are a runaway.


but, then she is there, standing right in front

of you, wet with rain, slender as a branch.

you watch as she makes her way over

and your heart gardens, rupturing red.


Originally Published in Lily, Volume 1, Issue 8, July 2004

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2004

Subtracting Flower
You could die for it--


or refuse it altogether

and know nothing

except the urgency

of youth. Men


have been


for ages

carrying the

stoniest of hearts

in their broad chests

while we women


begin too early

brush the brown leaves

from our shoulders, go

from bloom to fade

as soon as

we see the sunrise


We let our eyes go first

Then there is the limp lolling

of our hearts from side to side

the tongue we cut away

the blind kiss on the backlash of night

the giving giving giving of skin


As women

we blindly wish

past the climax of passion

as we vanish into a world of men

whose ribcages we were scraped from

Perhaps we are born of seeds

our essence crawling up the stem

to feed the bees.



every flower you see

is a woman

and when

she's in bloom

and when she is blooming


and when her leaves are wingbeats

of green in the autumn wind

beating wings of green, yes

even as the wind tries to humiliate her

it fails because

she's in love

and only she would die for it


Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2006

Love Is Believable
love is believable

in every moment of exhaustion

in every heartbroken home

in every dark spirit,

the meaning unfolds...


...in every night that sings

of tomorrow. in every suicide

i carry deep inside my head.

in every lonely smile

that plays across my lips.

love is believable i tell you,

in every scrap of history,

in every sheen of want.


what can be wrong

that some days i have a tough time


and in each chamber of my heart

i pray.


Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2006

All around me, the sky with its deep shade of dark.

The stars.


The moon with its shrunken soul.

Can I become what I want to become?


Neither wife or mother.

I am noone and nobody is my lover.


I am afraid

that when I go mad,

my father will bow his downy head

into his silver wings and weep.


My daughter, O my daughter.


Originally Published in The 2River View, 10.1, 2005

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005

How We Are
Pale scrapings of people

with lipstick ringed glasses

and cigarettes burning,

and laughter trickling up and down

their knotty throats.

What is this,

a gathering of henhouse critics?


My father's voice in the back of my head,

saying, forget that I'm dead and if you

can not do that than pretend.


I am standing

just outside the gallery

beneath the shadowy bough of a birch.

The moon is floating in the sky's dark lap.

Faraway I can hear the ocean sigh.


Now father, I am asking,

what smile are you wearing?

What color are your eyes again?

How many teeth have you lost?


Don't you think I want a kiss.

Perhaps I don't. Perhaps I don't

want to stand and pretend you

not dead while the wet, champagne

mouths of the living tell me how wonderful

your paintings are.


As they crook their fingers and strain their necks,

lose their vocabulary inside the artwork's depths

and colors.


Father, I want your reputation to outlive the pursuits

of others with their iron-on reviews after an hour's

worth of browsing at a lifetime of your work.


Father, are you crying?

Stop that sound.


Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005

The Blues Are All The Same
~for Jackson C. Frank

It seems almost too far fetched really,

too difficult to believe.

This unassuming moon shining like a copper plate.

These milkcrate blues.

This soft trellis of sound

wobbling through the wind

as if pouring out from the window

of some lonely house on the hill.

How beautiful it is,

the ghost of your voice,

haunting this empty valley.


Originally published in 2River View 10.1, 2005

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005

You Are The Mountain
At one end of the couch

you sit, mute as a pillow

tossed onto the upholstery.


I watch you sometimes

when you don't know I'm watching

and I see you. Who you are.


You are a self made man.

Hard suffering. You are grey

stone and damp earth.

A long scar on a pale sky.


The television is tuned to CNN.

The world's tragedies flicker

across your face like some

foreign film.


You are expressionless.

Your usual gestures ground to salt.


How do you explain yourself

to people that do not know you?

How do you explain to them,

this is me; that is not me.


However many words you choose

in whatever context with

whichever adjectives you use

could not compare.


Even you describing you

would not be you.

Not totally.


Your hands are folded

together, resting in your lap.

I study those hands until

every groove becomes familiar.


Like a favorite hat,

you wear your silence



I sometimes can not help

but wonder what we will

talk about if we ever

run out of things to say.


You are the curve

I burrow into. The strength

I borrow. You are the red sun

rising over the mountain.

You are the mountain.



© 2002 Lisa M. Zaran

All rights reserved.













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