The Argotist Online

Home       Articles       Interviews       Features       Poetry       Ebooks       Submissions       Links




JOrdan Stempleman


My poetry has previously appeared in magazines such as Blue Fifth Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Milk Magazine, MiPoesias, Moria, New American Writing, Otoliths, Private, Shampoo, Softblow, and Word For/Word. My first book, Their Fields is available through Moria e-books.

I live with my wife and daughter in Iowa City, where I am a Teaching/Writing Fellow at the Writers Workshop. I also work as the Program Coordinator for the International Writing Program at the university.




Swaps Every Second


almost the heady strain to gamble

at it alone

here comes the racket

through the blocks the endothermal slip

of arriving late

or the look in eyes that coo


Im with you now

uneternal as ever I know

there are coupons upon coupons that well throw away

oftentimes call the listed

numbers and hangup before we all

reach a deal


the fitness complains of the bargaining skits

that nothing would go different

nothing only nonsense to flake away

from the whole thing

such a blush

for the filed edge from contact


I have the intuition

to call for a fall position some

yellow just before so it can be there

to spot or seed any one of my open

places to stand on after I no longer

stand for anymore



The Rare Direction of Turns


the real likeness never sang to the agent before

go there for once as I first noticed you

as the remarkable gauze or tarred black pattern

so stuck to this shoe


she knows better

she understands the notion to move off a word for good

to leave behind


the sun goes down

the sky comes up


the cheek takes to the sweat of even the unknown environments

accepts its stance of feeling for the outside


never there

for those other parts that tend and fill the unnatural space left

when the arm breaks and suffering moves

to fill these gaps


there we say

the sense is true to renew our features

untouched by reference if nothing else



The Stubbing in a Dress


At about three, there becomes

for certain, discontinuity. From the car

stolen, to the one very white

car of the interim, her wallet was often

left in both. The plain sight of never

being stolen, the touch of parking

under a streetlight, all unfortunate possibilities

taken home with her, but nothing

coming of it, her day to start again

with the same relationships she held before.

This was very difficult to remember,

surely uncertain if dead leaves, if believable

there were dead leaves around, broke before

they touched feet or cruel wall of curb.

To imagine, theres a place that turns away oxygen.

There are things so certain of their function,

they write over this stuff, keep going  

on, touching the last leads some creature

held and abandoned, some creature

that became tired or interested again. 



Were at Plaster


we already know the slip up

the wonder that remains unable or afraid


the upheld side of a well-thrown pie

as it gives the rest to the grass


the cruel elapse of all good things

remains civil towards our ears and funny


to our nose and over time

the dripping company is really something


while it sits there and speaks across the table

with nothing sitting in for eyes



After Some Trees There


not after last night, sometimes

even if to complete, its not

there when asked to appear, lately

passing or passing the wild measure


of the vanished image made, not

made just for minds, a prevention

to turn away, settle in for measure,

think of everything that wanted above


all else, the senseless speak of returns,

there for company, retold again

as here it fits, not precisely above

or below where all else goes, as it stands


to hurt if shifted, the blank freed again

when mentioned, the right to return

much earlier to what hides and stands

in the interest of support, grown and good


except dry, the claim, one is alone, their return

and afterwards, the true mark to guarantee

were together, restless in the arch of good

sense, the casual grip lost, the later it seems






copyright Jordan Stempleman