Sally Bliumis-Dunn

Tell it Slant

Have to sail at an angle,

never directly into the wind –


other things too –


can’t look right at the sun,

the world, only visible

in the light that falls around it;


and in books as well,

the best drawn characters most often

evolve through indirection:


a lipstick smear on a collar,

contents of a bedroom drawer;


I imagine a single

two by twelve board

I need to lean against a barn –


it won’t even stand unless

I place it at an angle.


I don’t know how many other

things like this are true,


but I like trying

to see her words –


the tall right triangle the barn

and board create together,


the purple tufts of clover

slightly darker in the grass.



“Tell it Slant” first appeared in Poetry Kanto, 2008, No. 24.