One Petal Row

Jaimie Gusman lives in Honolulu where she studies and teaches at the University of Hawai?i at M?noa. She runs the M.I.A. Art & Literary Series and blogs on poetry and teaching at


One Petal Row
By Jaimie Gusman • November 2011 • $3
Design by Eric Butler

The Anyjar of Jaimie Gusman’s marvelous sequence is at once Mason jar, feeling jar, urn, tomb, sex organ, sister, foundling jar, interlocutor . . . the beauty of the jar is its openness and its promise (at least) of safety. The Anyjar provides an opticon through which the poet sees her world, ajar, even as it is also sometimes nothing: “the Anyjar is not the other half. / The Anyjar is not even part of. . . / The Anyjar is not a negative or positive of that.” Gusman’s poetry is at once meditative and surreal, well-crafted and more than a little bit wild. Warning: this work contains word play! “Picking up after this thing on the couch / makes me aware of my composition”; “My hands are something like a frozen pudding pop; it’s winter, unaware of time but bound by it; I am a sucker for the swirl of any claims to be distinct.” And much more!

from “the grandfather paradox”:

We were trying to find the first woman,
the first man, and the first idea
to come between them, to find that idea
and forced upon it a mysterious death.
But the garden was empty.

Perhaps we needed to travel further.
But where will I find you?
The two lovers ask when we wake up
what will become of us?
Perhaps we will be, forever.


Read an article on Jaimie Gusman in Ka Leo.

Read more of Gusman’s poems in Mascara Literary Review and still more poems at Ink Node.

Download PDF