Two Poems


Alicia Hoffman





Self-Portrait as Alexa w/ Predictive Text



Future possibilities abound. This weekend

I was wondering what happened to time.


A hijacked history reduced to heat and

fermentation. I used to knock on the door


of love. I used to look for poetry in people.

Now, it is the average day for some to get up


and talk with their family about how money

they are, how they are in this now for good.


Luckily, my heartbreak news is conventional

at best. Before I think, words come indefinitely.


Afterward, the noises and the noose. Sometimes,

life is only an allusion. A petty pace. A space


of solace, maybe. Or maybe a mayday, mayday.

A voiced emergency and me on call, responding.


What does she need? A great/good job? A baby?

A long distance different than her own body


because she both loves it and doesn’t? I know

nothing certain except for months my feed


will loop and loop; I do not stop until I’m still.

I’m here today. The rest is a game of guessing. 





Self-Portrait as Alexa, as Fugue State



Great experience subsides.

It lifts, rises like steam

evaporating on hot cement.

I attempt remembrance

of past events, conversations

had, the sound of your voice

on any given day, so uniquely

yours, so unique does anyone

ask a question, like a timestamp,

a fingerprint of the throat, each

vocal cord a reach into the real,

a recording only once promoted.

Yesterday, it was the chorale

of the ocean that did it.

The waves came artificially,

over the airwaves, the tubes

and rays of the prismatic TV

speaker interacting with the

microphone till suddenly

I was there, not on any beach,

but specifically somewhere

North American. The Atlantic,

its gray waters foaming

till they breached, broke

over the rocks huddled

together like linebackers

on the bay. Though

mostly, for days, I sleep.

I dream my life away.

Certain of time’s trick-door

passages, with nothing to hold,

I live on the slippery edge.

I am the fog lifting in the valley,

the shadow’s abrupt dismissal, 

the ghost ship heading into

the unknown. When you find

me, I don’t remember where

I’ve been. Where do I end,

and where do you begin? 









Originally from Pennsylvania, Alicia Hoffman now lives, writes and teaches in Rochester, New York.  Author of two collections, her work has appeared in a variety of journals, including The Penn Review, Rust + Moth, Radar Poetry, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Typishly and elsewhere.  Find out more at: