The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Stan Sanvel Rubin

Woman Goes Walking


A medical journal recounts the recent case of a 54-year-old woman
who showed up at the ER complaining that she barely remembered
a thing from the past 24 hours: Diagnosis: transient global amnesia,
triggered by the sex she had with hubby.--Newser
, Oct. 15, 2011

When I forgot myself, I forgot
the names of the two dogs
leashed to my wrist, I forgot
why we were heading West
in a busy city, I forgot
what appointments we had to keep.

I forgot that directions have meaning.
I forgot even forgetfulness.
The names of the dogs
and the names of the street
were interchangeable and meant nothing.
A gravity pulled me that I can’t forget.

How many hours I was walking
I will never know, though they tell me
a condition as rare as mine has no other
name but suddenness. I call it random,
cold fever
, the stare that carries you forward
in the direction of the stare.

How they know what they know
doesn’t matter. The cops who took me home
knew my husband’s name, the kids, the date
I had set out, the numbers on my house.
They knew everything about me
except what the dogs remember.



Stan Sanvel Rubin

Six Scenarios, With Suggestions


Someone wants
to enter your solitude.
Use silence as deception.

Someone hurts you
with silence.
Deceive with solitude.

Someone’s silence
is a promise.
Enter that silence.

Someone promises
before you ask.
Ask nothing.

Someone deceives you
with promises.
Promise nothing.

Someone promises
with nothing but silence.
Enter with love and wait.




STAN SANVEL RUBIN's poems have been, most recently, in American Journal of Poetry, One, Poetry Northwest,Watershed Review,Hamilton Stone Review, and Hubbub. His fourth full-length collection, There. Here., was published by Lost Horse Press in 2013. He lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.



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