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“Restless, Eccentric, Leapy” Collection from Alumna Poet

Lefsyk book

Sara Lefsyk ’05 created an individualized major in writing at Keene State, and she’s been continuing to create things ever since. Now a resident of Colorado, she’s an editor at Trio House Press and creates art and poetry – two loves she combines in her handmade zine, Ethel.

Lefsyk has just made a splash in the poetry world with the publication of her first full-length collection, We Are Hopelessly Small and Modern Birds, with the noted literary publisher Black Lawrence Press.

The poet Maureen Seaton says of the book: “Try to pin these pieces down—you can’t. Why would you want to? They’re revisionary and restless, eccentric and leapy, symmetrical and jarring, fun as hell and serious as a hot air balloon full of philosophers over the mountains of Kentucky.”

See for yourself! Here’s a poem from the collection:

history, realigning ourselves with the great spectral figures
of our time. William wears the dress of altered states and
explains how: “Church is a roundabout way of saying lunch
or biscuits,” then puts on a type of coat.

Still, a man sits learning the names and colors of things. He
no longer believes in the mind of a bird. This is his dharma:
he points at the clear sky endlessly when a woman is
breaking heliotropes in half. “I have almost fainted to be in
commercials,” she says, then runs out to the terrible mass of
actual trees.

She is a hill upon a hill if she is a mountain. She is a slow-
motion picture star. “I really feel it is as if there were birds”
she says, then lies down in the grass or in the aperture.

When William is deconstructing the mind of a bird, he is
interpreting the animal exegesis. “If it weren’t for the hive
of my being I’d think like animals think,” he says.

When he refuses his dharma, he is recalling the hard land of
his youth, where once he ate cereal with a real man for ten
hours. “Real men never point at the clear sky and say ‘real


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