Judy Halebsky

A Left-Branching Language

Listen to Judy Halebsky read her piece:

In Japanese there’s a grammatical structure for something that just happened

fig trees have a second bloom, smaller and less sweet

what forces work against gravity?
what word for these kinds of trees?

Basho can write about a branch that swayed in the wind
and mean the branch just now stopped swaying

our nights shaded against valley heat, vining him into me
snails, aphids, bumblebees, sparrows

skin heals in tendrils, in lines, bumpy, purpled, not weakened exactly
but less able to fold, less eager to stare into the sun

late August, leaves turning
a sprinkler, a hose, we ripened, ochre dawn and were gone


Judy Halebsky's book of poems, Sky=Empty, won the New Issues Prize and was a finalist for the California Book Award. The MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, and the Japanese Ministry of Culture have supported her work. She lives in San Francisco and teaches at Dominican University of California.
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