Antonia Clark

Disorderly Conduct


The glass slips. The milk spills.

Everyday objects succumb 

to flux and flutter.


The apples have developed a mania 

for the pears. They loll and roll 

together, thick as thieves.


The stockpot boils over. Bowls

borrow trouble and bottles wobble. 

Forks set up a clatter, stage 

a ceremony of unrest. 


In the closet, coats conspire 

against the old order.

And my intractable shoes, 

those sturdy little anarchists, 

go their own way, leaving me 

no choice but to follow. 



Pointing the Finger


I blame the nightly news and the night nurse.

I blame barges and barrels and the burning bush,

the broken branch and the broken promise.


I blame the apparatus of weather, the mechanics 

of wind and rain. I blame every fire and flood.

I blame the stubborn mountain, the endless plain.


I blame crumbling brick and rotting wood.

I blame dust and doubt and duty, the sense

of lurking danger and the certainty of pain.


I blame lost articles and lost causes. I blame

upper hands, the over-modified, the self-

satisfied, the stages of grief, the wages of sin.


I blame the double bind and the cherished illusion.

I blame the weak heart, the strong medicine.

I blame the mirror. I blame the skin.


Antonia Clark
is the author of a chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon (David Robert Books, 2014). Her poems and short stories have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Anderbo, The Cortland Review, The Missouri Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, and Softblow. She works as a medical writer and editor. She has taught poetry and fiction writing and is co-administrator of an online poetry forum, The Waters. Toni lives in Winooski, Vermont, loves French picnics, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.



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