Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 38
Autumnal Equinox, 2020

our 10th anniversary issue

Featured painting, Islands for Misfits and Wayward Girls: Message in a Bottle, by Chris Jeanguenat.

New Works

Karen Neuberg


On heading out, I was only interested in a next I couldn't envision but wanted. There was a fog I had to pass through. A wall with pictographs I couldn't decipher. A darkness I avoided. A book caught me in the rye. I didn't turn any corner down. When I couldn't undo the lengthening tether, I tore it in two. My half trailed almost to the ground. Later, I used it to make a lariat to catch what was left of what I had left, drag it all back. A girl I barely knew came with it.


How light streaks through your childhood and mine, even though we weren't together didn't necessarily have them at the same time; but see, see how light moved furiously through the pattern of days as we embarked on escapades or dull tasks or want or privilege—light so vivid we thought we'd hold it forever, but it takes to our depths at some point—are we just turned 12, or 20, or 66 and now, suddenly, we're weeping over that lost brightness that startles us from dream at 3 AM as we vividly recall running, heart first, happily into day wild to tell a best friend about a new puppy or what we saw out the window, or just to move. In the time since, it's become knotted, a macrame of incidents, wall hanging that's become set with beads between the knots, some dense with surface shine, some clear with light streaking through.

The Story of My Story

Over time, some of the pages have gone missing. They fly in the wind and sometimes land at my feet. Too often, I inadvertently step on them and keep going. Or, rain plasters them to my window. The ink runs. Sometimes, I see my story in my mirror. Crooked teeth. Grey brows. I run my story down a page. It weeps a new sorrow than it used to. Picks the lint of loss. Fluffs it into a pillow. I sleep on my story. I sleep in it. It sleeps in me. It buries itself in me. My story has become quiet. Has become mystery. I have to beg it to share itself, to share those exciting bits that had me hanging by my fingertips over ledges of want, over desire, over my adventures of accumulation and achievements and failures. Of walks by the frozen lakes. And weaving through crowded city streets. There are a million viewed trees in my story. And a million lights seen in houses and apartments. My story has become the impression of all that has happened more than what has actually happened. It doesn't seem to mind so why should I? But somehow, I do.

Karen Neuberg is a Brooklyn, NY,-based poet. Her poems and collages can be found in numerous publications including 805, Canary, The Inflectionist Review, New Verse News and Verse Daily. She is the author of the full-length poetry collection of poetry, "PURSUIT".(Kelsay Press).