Omnivorous Syllables displays an expansiveness reaching "from Paradise to Inferno": Manhattan skyscrapers feed on neutrinos; emotions swing between "deepest historical fear" and "highest historical ecstasy". -- Robert Murrey Davis

Ioana Ieronim writes with the perfectionism of a mind always in flight. The poet is both protagonist and witness, present and yet constantly escaping the self in order to record the sensibilities of other places, other people. To read a new Ieronim collection is always to embark on a mystery tour full of intense textual pleasure and sensation. – Fiona Sampson


the dodecahedron is the symbol of the world
the pyramid the most stable form

around every object from afar
the eye perceives a sphere of light

mad god: your paradise,
an impression of sugarsweet certainty and only
a shudder—sometimes
a question
with no answer under its wing

a totally insignificant flicker of your Savagery


the fall of all things along threads of rain into words
races of light rays in fall back to origins— hard battles
that are not quite real
between the Main Clause
and whole continents of Subordinates
don’t turn with thirst and innocence
toward the object you wish to know—
rather trust your luck to a miscopied random number
and pretend it’s all a game
— above all, laugh
when one world sinks down in struggle and another is born

when you never know whether all this
could have been mounted on pulleys

what’s real blood and what is paint
(2 + n pieces subject to permutation)
when you don’t know exactly how it is that things are not
after their kind
and out of nothing things happen to be born


Sheep bells and the cathedral chimes of Chartres
clappers of wood of iron of clay

long snakes undulating through water
needles of ice pelting window panes

a geologic stratum in its fiery sliding leaves behind caves
traces of lace and crystal — all to be transformed
into an immense head and paw
and further away, with shrill tones
a galaxy, next to a blackened valley
where yet a number 1 swims with pointed arrows
sparks from a hobbled hoof, now hear organ pipes, a thousand
birds, hear someone sear a feast of lamb chops
the coffee cup where Life was first born
the primeval ocean lulling pale-blue protozoa

for all this, up in a soundproof booth
a living finger must still want
to press a button


But who who who
which myopic god looks upon the world
through the lens of a dewdrop?


you operate according to objective laws and yet . . .
you comply with various statistics yet . . .
you believe in the lovely myths of science you don’t steal don’t kill don’t covet
and yet . . .
terror pain a mere fleeting word these close in on you from every side
and yet . . .
he says: I know ALL about you — you’re in my power!
yet . . .
(by a hand’s breadth—father taller than son) / don’t rely
on the lame octopus of Memory
rather toss the dice. wait for a number that isn’t there
thirst to have it
all all all / but hold on!
how fast can you fade to the color of the wall?
how fast can you hide
(without noise without shadow)
in the color of your enemy?

Les beaux jours

Les beaux jours, when the earth was flat
rocked in the sunshine by
the kind-hearted turtle

when the most aloof god of all set up his kingdom
in the enclosure of rope
secured by three stakes
the sign of the World
in a half-opened palm
causa rerum
replete with the sacred seeds of effect


The addition sign
one fallen trunk resting on another
the division sign of your eyes
the dreamy fan blades of multiplication
the svelte sign of subtraction
the sign of your hiding
a dart stitched in the fabric of time
the way you stood
in silence in scream in breath
in wavering natural pitch


your position well integrated
in the circle of necessary amenities in the southeast as part of the group at the crossroads
in the fair to middling landscape indisputably
between hammer and anvil