DS Maolalai



the door to my apartment

the washing machine

goes like a helicopter.

it shakes

dances on the floor

rattles like a jazz drummer at practice.

my girlfriend says

I should call the landlord. something's

off with the balance

she says.

it could be fixed pretty quick

by a man with a screwdriver.

she's a pharmacist

and lives with her parents.

what does she know

about washing machines

or landlords?

I try to just get my clothes out

as fast as I can,

let someone else put in theirs

and hang my trousers

to drip-dry in the shower.

if I don't use the spin cycle

at least it's not

my own dirt

that keeps me awake.


Marianne Moore

DS Maolalai


I'm not going to try

ripping off her style –

I couldn't.

I'm no mimic

and not that good.

But only

I'll say

that so rarely

do old poems

so written like marble

and so built to catch dust

come so readily alive -

she was born to be an editor

and instead wrote poetry

severe enough

that it was like being cut

by a machine

designed for cutting.

And nobody ever talks about her


I suppose

because she said

what she felt needed to be said

and then never

said anything else.

© 2015 Cogswell College •  191 Baypointe Parkway, San Jose, CA 95134 800.264.7955 •