White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Joanna Fuhrman
Joanna Fuhrman is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Year of Yellow Butterflies (Hanging Loose Press 2015) and Pageant (Alice James Books 2009.) Check out her collaborative blog. For more see: Joannafuhrman.com
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Joanna Fuhrman

Pluto’s Fourth Moon is Named After a Many-headed Dog



Happiness is not that boy

with a camera instead of a face.


or that girl with a whip

where her tail should be.


Like time, it hides

in the helmet of New Jersey.


Only gas stations

and crinkled palms here.

Joanna Fuhrman

Wrap it in a Beehive



All I want to do is stay

home, flirt with my baby

sister’s babysitter, admire

my reflection in my

mother’s butcher knife

and stuff my chowhole

with sweet potato fries,

but then there’s that ho

again, throwing down

that flaxen mane from

her window in the sky,

throwing around an

aromatic daffodil-shaped

cloud of amorous vapor

which envelopes the world

and makes me forget

my true bro-ness. I know

they say her heart is made

of steel, but her lips taste



Joanna Fuhrman

like stone fruit trifle

and her arm pits smell

like places I don’t admit

to her I’ve been. (Cue

the flutes.) So when

I hear the sound of her

braids swaying in the wind,

and the squeaky rattle

of her chained-up thighs,

like old fashioned birdsongs

wooing me with their noisy

charms, my limbs start

to scale her hair, until

my palms are rough

and my fingers are fire

engine red, and I don’t

even mind the blisters.

Joanna Fuhrman

Security Mom Eats a Sunday


Within the flouncy photons

the blasted doppelgangers

waking up our nerves


My why for you is

          the mobile radius

transmitting throbbing banter


emphatic Shetland peonies

tramping across    the neighborhood

radio salad

You are an is in our us it

Within the tussle and the sock

Our tablets calculate

the quantitative blaming of no

Joanna Fuhrman

Poem in the Form of a Barcode



After the comedian was apprehended,

we turned on the faucet and blood flowed.


I tried to get you to remember by gluing

thick felt onto a mountainous puppet stage.


A film made from the shreds of old clips

told our secrets, but everyone


closed their eyes when the 3D

elephants flew from the screen.


I wanted a new species of art. Like my

old friend whose black and white


flashes of a poem in the language

of a bar code held my muscles to my bones.



Joanna Fuhrman

I wanted a song woven from the strings

of light that escape from a long hug,


an animated swan, sculpted out of dry,

mashed potatoes and powdery gold.

The lie we marked in the ledger cast

a shadow like the broken neck of a bird.


In a hotel room’s giant shared bed,

popular women waited for me to leave.


Did anyone notice that the comedian

was missing? His face erased from


the snack packages, his name just

beyond what we were able to think.


When he reappeared, years later wearing

a ghost-sheet, like a lazy trick-or-treater,



Joanna Fuhrman

and sweeping up licked and broken

lollipop rings from the cracked asphalt,


we didn’t know what to say.

We just wanted our candy back.












Copyright © Joanna Fuhrman. White Whale Review, issue 7.1

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