Marianne Brems


My poem lengthens and contracts

like an octopus,

an invertebrate able to squeeze through

small openings or fill large cavities.


My words inside their colorful bonnets

swell and subside

and trip over one another

as I attempt to give them spine.


Like an octopus,

arms of my poem

move autonomously,

their reach flopping in all directions.


I try to anchor these unruly appendages

with curved muscular words

that grip like suckers

as they explore, taste, manipulate.


When my poem cries out for bed,

arms tucked in under a sheet and blanket,

I kiss it goodnight

only to find an arm or two already slipped out.

Marianne Brems’ two poetry chapbooks are Sliver of Change (Finishing Line Press, 2020) and Unsung Offerings (Finishing Line Press, 2021). Her poems have appeared in literary journals including The Pangolin Review, Nightingale & Sparrow, The Sunlight Press, and The Tiny Seed Literary Journal. She lives and cycles in Northern California. Website: