Two Divinations

Trevor Ketner

[Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan]*

gather matter to make breasts—throw hay, then he

my vasetuft, hidden, tended, roaming—if power

then outlet or go to mountain seer

fist’s round, bittersweet salt—be my velvety bearsmut—

frothy he-arm cult—seek fat elm (eye hymn

to the dead)—flex arms, grunt, harden—

he smears a milky omen—f-off—ate hind

butchered in forest—smoothes cloth (tart, red

berry on it)—womanly spit streams—oh shed

form (entrans it)—they boyblur—tamed leather hip—

blue theystag whimpered—remake he (rose,

sugar, tangle)—goathorn moon in steel city—

now i feather epithet—untidy boneglint /

hilt sham—maidenantler (a perfection).


[So, now I have confess’d that he is thine,]*

woven: hidden / shone—i taste chaosshift

(nightgod flies away)—melt my tar / mold—

lift feet, tie him, horny, aloft—morsels,

clot, rot—he lusters to wifely bottom,

to holehunt, to winterwolf—i, bent bluer,

ask (nods no)—curvature (hoof, tit, hide)—

rude ewe feels hairy—milk torn to butter,

hand bound to hand—dab at thirst / fist them

(they slow, they bite)—oaktuft (taut), he (taut)

roots (taut)—lush petalhurt—stout he-fur—

i do aftercare, dry naked sub foam (semen)—

luminous gush thins—i he-mark doeboy,

thistle him—a shamebath (oh hound vomit)—

a “new” halftype—horse meat (honeyed it).


*These poems (“divinations”) were created with the assistance of an online anagramming tool. Each divination is titled after a Shakespearean sonnet, and each line of the divination contains all the same letters as the corresponding line of the original sonnet.

Trevor Ketner is the author of [WHITE] (University of Georgia Press, 2021) selected as a winner of the National Poetry Series by Forrest Gander. They have been published in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Brooklyn Rail, New England Review, Ninth Letter, Diagram, Foglifter, and elsewhere. A 2020 Lambda Literary Fellow, they have been a Poets House Emerging Poets Fellow, Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow for The Poetry Project, and a Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Fellow. They hold an MFA from the University of Minnesota and live in Manhattan with their husband.

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