Artichokes by Patrice Boyer Claeys

scary and beautiful


the bud
               like a globe     
each leaf
               guarding its body
wrapped in fur.


Garlic and butter, glossy dark green leaves,
and I’m eating
               the layers
slipping their shiny
in the city of my mouth.


Frail-naked, utterly uncovered
                             the heart


its soul a bud that never bloomed
               within me.




Cento Sources: Heidy Steidlmayer, Marianne Boruch, Galway Kinnell, Victorio Reyes Asili, H. D., Talia Mesnick, Robert Gernhardt, Ron Padgett, Rachel Hadas, Tomaz Salamun, Stanley Kunitz, Elise Paschen, X. J. Kennedy, Bianca Stone, D. H. Lawrence, Robert Creeley, Christian Wiman, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Andrew Vaisius, Primus St. John

Patrice Boyer Claeys is a Chicago poet with four published collections: Lovely Daughter of the Shattering, The Machinery of Grace, Honey from the Sun (with Gail Goepfert), and This Hard Business of Living (also with Goepfert). Recent work has appeared in The Adirondack Review, Lily Poetry Review and Night Heron Barks. She has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net and can be found at