Old Question

Emily Toder


Old Question


In the mind are the eyes

interpreting the stimuli

in this way ruling the body beholding them so

clearly there is no difference


In the mind are all the synapses and in the mind

is the sense of a physical pain

beyond all reason


In the mind is belief and in the body

is the mind of hope


In the hope is the wonky, learned conception

of chlorophyll, for example,

absolutely unbelievable but it’s there,

greening the fuck out of pale stuff

incomprehensibly in the cells


The mind holds the alphabetic roster of the counties

The mind has the hotness of the past and

the benign railroads of rats


The mind beholds the worth of life or whatever

that means to you in the peapod,

in the car grill, in the warp


The difficulties of life barely shared between the sweet

cracked people that stitch the society together and the toil

of the cracked people who are still polite through this

and through their unknown suffering day after day


The foreign ticket collector pacing the train

I can weird him out

not with my body

with my lack of Czech

he lets me go

and my strangers study me and it lulls them

in their commute they dream a black peach


The foreign cats I pet scamper quicker

than their prey; this is good


In my mind reigns a well my body



The point is there’s no difference

between the body and the mind


Do not wear headphones if you want

to emphasize this, walk shroudless

in the streets and beaches, walk

shroudless of spirit

down the boulevards,

walk around freely in foreign countries

if you want to fuck with the incongruence


Another man with a woman

with a spirit kisses the sky

weeping sick joy buttoning

me up – but no one

will ever believe me,

so I don’t know what to do



Emily Toder is the author of Science (Coconut Books, 2012) and the chapbooks Brushes With (Tarpaulin Sky, 2010), I Hear a Boat (Duets, 2012), and No Land (forthcoming 2013 from Brave Men Press). A graduate of the MFA Program at UMass Amherst, she also holds degrees in literary translation and library science. She lives in Brooklyn.

Fanzine’s series editor for Fall 2013 is Ella Longpre.