Miss Dickinson’s were a must-have:

complex like soufflés, souls or casseroles,

no simple assemblage of milk, sugar, cornstarch

and you stir and stir until veins paint your arm

with ardor and tedium. It will get viscous

and boil, the bubbles voluptuous,

reluctant. Result is not

the paradigm at work here –

you could have bought pudding,

saving yourself time for art. Take

preventative measures (plastic wrap)

or a skin will form atop. This is “organic”:

everything desirable. We desire to have not wasted

our time when the end is not what we expected,

to give a day dignity when it provided

none. Be willing to let things

burn. Patience: watch

them cool.

Patty Seyburn has published three books of poems: Hilarity (New Issues Press, 2009), Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998). Her poems are forthcoming in Boston Review, DIAGRAM and Hotel Amerika. She is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Long Beach and co-editor of POOL: A Journal of Poetry, based in Los Angeles.