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She was a just postcard at the MOMA, a stamp of pink and lemon yellow. Her mouth, a red smear, slightly open. Is that a word forming, wanting to slip from tongue to lip to air. Trapped in an Andy Warhol silk screen. I bought the postcard, propped it on my desk. We gazed at each other. What did I know about Marilyn Monroe—nothing really—blonde bombshell, actress, married to Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, something about the Kennedys, died young, suicide? She was just a very famous face. But arguably the first female celebrity known by a single name. And still the most enduring. Even 60 years after her death, she’s still here, on YouTube, all over the Internet, and at the moment, in the form of a controversial statue in Palm Springs. Why is that? Turns out Marilyn pioneered multiplication—And I don’t mean math, but the concept of blanketing the world with her image, before the Internet made it easy— she was the first instant celebrity, it gave her power. She created the Marilyn Monroe image then projected and performed it over and over. Think about yourself. How do you appear on Instagram, Hinge or Twitter? Isn’t social a form of multiplication? Aren’t we all projecting and performing? Every selfie is posed and a pose. Even in real life, we perform some version of our self. I am now. So are you. T.S. Eliot wrote about putting on a “face to meet the faces that you meet.” The daily act of assuming a persona. As a poet, to really explore our performance culture, I assumed someone else’s persona—Marilyn’s. For two years, I became Marilyn in poetry. It began in Paris in July 2018. A place where I had first come as a student, even then assuming a role—dipping my tongue into the language to spend long nights in cafés and bars, drinking Pernod, smoking Gauloises and imagining myself Hemingway. But now, decades later, I had greater ambitions. I was going to become Marilyn Monroe. Or maybe it had started earlier, in 1994 when I moved to Los Angeles and fell under the spell of faces plastered on billboards and ran into stars in the supermarket. The glitter of LA shaking onto my skin and sticking as I went about my life, working, raising my family. But all the time, perhaps it was there lurking—the desire to be someone else, to be the world’s most famous woman, to be Marilyn Monroe. As I wrote, I came to know her many faces, the layers of her performance. I stripped away the façade, pushed against stereotype to try to find her truth. I found it. Sort’ve. It was fairly easy for me to capture her voice, to tell her story in poetry. She has a lot to say and poetry works for Marilyn. But as I’ve came closer to Marilyn’s truths, I’ve came face to face with my self—Maybe I used her as a foil. By becoming Marilyn, had I been avoiding my... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
1958: Eisenhower’s in the White House, Explorer 1 satellite launched, The US. Supreme Court rules for school integration, Elvis joins the Army, the Yankees win the World Series, the microchip is invented, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s is published, Marilyn Monroe films Some Like it Hot, Sylvia Plath moves to Boston and joins Anne Sexton in Robert Lowell’s writing seminars. It’s also the year I was born. But that is not why I’m here conjuring 1958. Or maybe it is, inserting myself into this story about an imagined cultural intersection of poetry and pop. In my mind, Plath and Sexton are having martinis at the Ritz Carlton in Boston. They’ve come from a Lowell seminar, their minds buzzing. At the next table is Monroe. She’d driven up from Connecticut where she lives with husband Arthur Miller. She’s newly pregnant, her body hormonally adjusting. She’s nervous that she’ll lose this one too, especially as she must fly to LA next month to start filming. As she sips her cup of tea, she thinks about Arthur, his struggles with writer’s block, her need to get away for a few days. Marilyn pulls her journal out of her handbag to write. Truman Capote’s book tumbles out. As she reaches down under the table to retrieve it, she notices the two women at the next table. All other eyes in the dining room are on her, but not theirs. They are deep in conversation. There is something about them that intrigues Marilyn. Does she know them from somewhere? Plath and Sexton are playing it cool. Of course, they know that Marilyn Monroe is sitting next to them. It is only as she looks directly at them, that they turn to meet her gaze. From everything that I have learned in the research I undertook to write poems in the persona of Marilyn for my newest collection, An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe, neither Anne Sexton nor Sylvia Plath never met Marilyn. Plath wanted to, or her subconscious wanted to meet Marilyn according to a 1959 diary entry: “Marilyn Monroe appeared to me last night in a dream as a kind of fairy godmother. I spoke almost in tears of how much she and Arthur Miller meant to us (her husband and herself) although they could, of course, not know us at all. She gave me a manicure. I had not washed my hair, and asked her about hairdressers, saying no matter where I went, they always imposed a horrid cut on me. She invited me to visit her during the Christmas holidays, promising a new, flowering life.” Discovering this diary entry prompted me to write a poetic response from Marilyn to Plath: Dear Sylvia, Give me your bitten hand. I will paint each moon sliver— Amaryllis red. If you are a girl swirled in the thick of a dream, I am a play of red-tongued wolves and barn owl howls. Let me curl into your hair, crawl beneath your winter. Scrawl me in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
Marilyn Monroe not only loved poetry and poets, poets have reciprocated in writing Marilyn into poetry. While I may be the first to write an entire collection centered around Marilyn, in doing so I have entered into a long tradition of poets who have written poems devoted to or referencing the famous actress. Marilyn appears in passing in Frank O’Hara’s “To the Film Industry in Crisis” published in 1957, while Marilyn was still living, as “Marilyn Monroe in her little spike heels reeling through Niagara Falls” and more recently in Alex Dmitrov’s “LOVE” from his new collection LOVE and Other Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2020): “And yes, I love that Marilyn Monroe requested Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” to be played at her funeral. And her casket was lined in champagne satin. And Lee Strasberg ended his eulogy by saying, “I cannot say goodbye. Marilyn never liked goodbyes, but in the peculiar way she had of turning things around so that they faced reality, I will say au revoir.” In fact, it is Marilyn’s tragic death that poets have explored over and over. Here’s Edwin Morgan’s “The Death of Marilyn Monroe” from 1968, with her death as metaphor for America: The Death of Marilyn Monroe By Edwin Morgan What innocence? Whose guilt? What eyes? Whose breast? Crumpled orphan, nembutal bed, white hearse, Los Angeles, DiMaggio! Los Angeles! Miller! Los Angeles! America! That Death should seem the only protector – That all arms should have faded, and the great cameras and lights become an inquisition and a torment – That the many acquaintances, the autograph-hunters, the inflexible directors, the drive-in admirers should become a blur of incomprehension and pain – That lonely Uncertainty should limp up, grinning, with bewildering barbiturates, and watch her undress and lie down and in her anguish call for him! call for him to strengthen her with what could only dissolve her! A method of dying, we are shaken, we see it. Strasberg! Los Angeles! Olivier! Los Angeles! Others die and yet by this death we are a little shaken, we feel it, America. Let no one say communication is a cantword. They had to lift her hand from the bedside telephone. But what she had not been able to say perhaps she had said. ‘All I had was my life. I have no regrets, because if I made any mistakes, I was responsible. There is now – and there is the future. What has happened is behind. So it follows you around? So what?’ – This to a friend, ten days before. And so she was responsible. And if she was not responsible, not wholly responsible, Los Angeles? Los Angeles? Will it follow you around? Will the slow white hearse of the child of America follow you around? Then in 1984, Sharon Olds writes a poem with the same title that appears in her collection from that year The Dead and the Living (Knopf, 1984). The Death of Marilyn Monroe By Sharon Olds The ambulance men... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
“I love poetry and poets” ~Marilyn Monroe, 1962 So declared Marilyn Monroe on a list of notes she had made in preparing her response to a series of interview questions. The notes were among her journals and letters discovered decades after she died and later compiled into the book, Fragments. The editors of Fragments, Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment, considered these notes to be her last, and that they may have been written within days before her death on August 4, 1962. We’ll never know the question that inspired Marilyn’s answer. But we do know that she loved both poetry and poets. I wrote yesterday about her own poetry. Today, on what would have been her 95th birthday, I’ll shed light on the poetry that Marilyn surrounded herself with. After she died, her personal book collection of 430 books was auctioned off with other personal possessions by Christies NY on October 28-29, 1999. The collection includes many of the classics and shows she read broadly across genres and interests. Within that, her poetry collection included the following (with some identifiers missing): A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Houseman The Poetry & Prose Of Heinrich Heine by Frederich Ewen The Poetical works Of John Milton, by H.C. Beeching The Poetical Works Of Robert Browning (H.C. Beeching?) Wordsworth by Richard Wilbur The Poetical Works Of Shelley (Richard Wilbur?) The Portable Blake, by William Blake William Shakespeare: Sonnets, ed. Mary Jane Gorton Poems Of Robert Burns, ed. Henry Meikle & William Beattie The Penguin Book Of English Verse, ed. John Hayward Aragon: Poet Of The French Resistance, by Hannah Josephson & Malcolm Cowley Star Crossed by Margaret Tilden Collected Sonnets by Edna St Vincent Millay (2 editions) Robert Frost's Poems by Louis Untermeyer (Poe: Complete Poems by Richard Wilbur (a 2nd copy?) The Life And Times Of Archy And Mehitabel by Don Marquis The Pocketbook Of Modern Verse by Oscar Williams Poems by John Tagliabue Selected Poems by Rafael Alberti Selected Poetry by Robinson Jeffers The American Puritans: Their Prose & Poetry, by Perry Miller Selected Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke Poet In New York by Federico Garcia Lorca The Vapor Trail by Ivan Lawrence Becker Love Poems & Love Letters For All The Year 100 Modern Poems, ed. Selden Rodman The Sweeniad, by Myra Buttle Poetry: A Magazine Of Verse, Vol.70, no. 6 Poems Of W.B. Yeats The Poems, Prose & Plays Of Alexander Pushkin Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson The Poems And Fairy-Tales by Oscar Wilde Selected Poems by DH Lawrence As an actress, Marilyn had met many writers before she famously married the great playwright, Arthur Miller. But their association broadened her circle of writers, playwrights and poets. Through Miller, she befriend Louis Untermeyer. And she became especially closeto the poet, Norman Rosten. Rosten introduced her a wide range of poets and poetry and encouraged Marilyn’s own writing. At dinner parties, Marilyn would often read poetry aloud, including a memorable reading of Yeats at a gathering at Rosten's home. After her... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
Tomorrow on June 1, Marilyn Monroe would have celebrated her 95th birthday. Even now, nearly sixty years after her death, she remains one of the world’s most iconic figures. We know that she continues to serve as muse and subject to poets, but she was also someone who had a deep relationship to poetry. The poet Heidi Seaborn’s new collection An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe arrives on Marilyn’s birthday having won the PANK Books Poetry Prize. Best American Poetry has invited Seaborn to guest edit a week devoted to Marilyn Monroe in Poetry. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- After her death, Arthur Miller said of his former wife, Marilyn Monroe, “…she was a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes.” As a poet who has written a collection largely in the persona of Marilyn Monroe, I find Miller’s description sad, but also intriguing. Did he really see her as a poet, or was he referring to her as having a poetic soul? Having thoroughly researched Monroe for my collection, An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe (PANK Books, June 2021), it’s not clear that Arthur Miller ever read Marilyn’s poetry. But I have. When Marilyn died in 1962, her personal possessions were bequeathed to her acting coach and friend, Lee Strasberg. Decades later, and long after Strasberg was also dead, his widow Anna Strasberg discovered two boxes of Marilyn’s letters, journals and poems. Eventually the contents of those boxes became a book, Fragments (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010, edited by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment). Fragments contains mostly handwritten documents reproduced and transposed into text and some letters Marilyn typed herself. What’s revealed is everything from Marilyn’s grocery list for a party to letters to psychiatrists, to her notes for an upcoming interview with Life Magazine to her inner most anxieties. And intertwined in all these remnants from her heart and mind, are poems or fragments of poems. Here from a red spiralbound ‘Livewire’ notebook that Buchthal and Comment attribute to being from the summer of 1958 when Marilyn was in LA filming Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot. “I left my home of green rough wood— a blue velvet couch I dream till now a shiny bush just left of the door. [illegible] down the walk clickity clack as my doll in her carriage went over the cracks—“We’ll go far away” The meadows are huge the earth (will be) hard on my back. The grass surged touched the blue and still white clouds changing from an old man shapes to a smiling dog with ears flying Look— The meadows are reaching—they’re touching the sky We’ll leave We left our outlines against/on the crushed grass. It will die sooner because we were there—will something else have grown? Don’t cry my doll don’t cry I hold you and rock you to sleep. hush hush I’m I was only pretending now that I’m (was) not your mother who died. I shall feed you from the shiny... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2021 at The Best American Poetry
Next week, writers from all over will trek to Portland for the Associated Writers & Writer’s Programs (AWP) Annual Conference and Book Fair. Those of us in the Northwest are delighted to invite the writerly world to our rivers, mountains, ocean shores and urban landscapes. Attendees will find themselves surrounded by the natural beauty and a zillion poets who call the Pacific Northwest home. There may be more poets writing and publishing in the Pacific Northwest than anywhere besides New York City. Working together with Lewis & Clark College, Oregon Poetic Voices has archived digital recordings of over 450 poets reading their poetry. In Washington State, Kathleen Flenniken’s The Far Field blog, captured the work over 350 poets a few years ago. These are poets that are widely published, often professional poets. In Seattle, which carries the UNESCO City of Literature designation, there’s a joke that there are so many poets in the area that you need to swerve to avoid hitting one. “There is such a tremendous range of poetic voices and styles in the Pacific Northwest, “says Billie Swift, owner of the poetry-only bookstore in Seattle, Open Books. “At Open Books, we don’t have a Pacific Northwest Poets section because where would one begin? We have people come into the store seeking PNW poets. Their eyes widen as we pull book after book after book off the shelf. And then there are hundreds of literary journals and presses thriving in the region.” One of which is the renowned Poetry Northwest that is celebrating its 60thyear at AWP. Editor Erin Malone agrees with Swift: “Poetry is ubiquitous in Seattle and the whole Northwest— from the UW to organizations like Hugo House, to our indie bookstores, to reading series like Margin Shift, to our Writers in the Schools teaching our K-12 kids how to write poems. And because it’s such a large community, I feel like our writing scene goes against that dreaded Seattle Freeze. Writers here are very supportive and welcoming.” Claudia Castro Luna, Washington State’s Poet Laureate credits a rich ecosystem that surrounds and supports writers in the Northwest: "I have been pleasantly surprised at finding writerly/poetry communities in every corner of the state. This is heartening. I have also seen nascent communities in High Schools, but much more work remains to be done. There is vibrancy and yet there remain many untapped possibilities to involve immigrant communities as well as Native communities to share their songs and their stories." Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna and Oregon State Poet Laureate Kim Stafford at the Hugo House The poets working today have several legendary tall trees of Pacific Northwest poetry to thank, including Theodore Roethke, Richard Hugo, William Stafford, David Waggoner, Carolyn Kizer and Tess Gallagher. As Billie Swift says, “The Pacific Northwest poetry community has an exceptionally strong adherence to the poetic word." That word is both heritage and expectation. Oregon State Poet Laureate, Kim Stafford reminds: “How many stories, songs, chants, spells, and other native... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
On May 4th, the poems of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow will be auctioned off by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The notorious gangster couple wrote poems during their two-year crime spree from 1932-1934 that included robbing banks, gas stations and shops and killing people along the way. They were eventually ambushed by the police in Louisiana and died in the shootout. The poems were written in a 1933 daily planner notebook that has been in the possession of Clyde Barrows’ family all these decades. Bonnie Parker was particularly prolific. Her poems are long sequences of rhyming stanzas that pull from the Wild West ballad tradition. You've read the story of Jesse James Of how he lived and died; If you're still in need Of something to read, Here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde. She likens their fugitive life to that of Jesse James and Billy the Kid. Long before Michael Ondaatje wrote The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Bonnie Parker imagined him in poetry, in a chance encounter with Clyde in her poem, “Outlaws—Billy the Kid and Clyde Barrow”: Billy rode on a pinto horse Billy the Kid I mean And he met Clyde Barrow riding In a little gray machine Billy drew his bridle rein And Barrow stopped his car And the dead man talked to the living man Under the morning star Billy said to the Barrow boy Is this the way you ride In a car that does its ninety per Machine guns at each side? I only had my pinto horse And my six-gun tried and true I could shoot but they got me And someday they will get you! Bonnie also used her poems at times to set the record straight when they were falsely accused: If a policeman is killed in Dallas, And they have no clue or guide; If they can't find a fiend, They just wipe their slate clean And hand it on Bonnie and Clyde. There's two crimes committed in America Not accredited to the Barrow mob; They had no hand In the kidnap demand, Nor the Kansas City depot job. While Bonnie and Clyde were glamorized in life and since through film and literature, their poetry reveals that life on the run was far from easy. Clyde (with misspellings) describes: As we travel down the highway never knowing where it will end. Never very much money and not even a friend We donte want to hurt annyone but we have to steal to eat and if its a shootout to live then thats the way it will have to bee. The outlaw couple knows that they are doomed and use their poems to express their fatalism. Their impending death is presented in their poems without bravado or fear, but an understanding that this will ultimately be their end: Some day they'll go down together; And they'll bury them side by side; To few it'll be grief To the law a relief But it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
Crowns off to Matty Layne Glasgow for his debut poetry collection, Deciduous Qween being chosen by Richard Blanco for Red Hen Press’ Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award in 2018. This debut collection is a forest of wonders, bejeweled with language that stings, flings, hisses and kisses all at once. This is a writer who pulls the teeth of childhood and holds them up to the light for the reader to see “like words that only shine/when they are free”, a writer who unearths the Texan landscape and sexuality in poems that burn hot and vivid. Glasgow revises the floral blooming coming of age story into “a bed of wildflowers” with the “lust & rust of a Texas spring.” There is lust and rust and love and shame, and loss threaded throughout this collection, as a mother dies and a boy claims his sexuality and life goes on like a drag queen on stage. The poem “how you go” includes erasures from Peter Wohlleben (author, The Secret Life of Trees) as it grapples with a mother erased from a son's life. In Deciduous Qween, people and trees are entwined as Glasgow reimagines human nature from our soiled roots to our lofty leafy limbs. Deciduous Qween will be available in June. In the meantime, here’s a taste: Ash Mama I never called you Mother Tree. May I now that your body felled you—bark sallow & unfurling from your hollow bones? I saw an emerald ash borer in your pancreas, watched it loosen your skin, swallow you whole in one month. They said it would take years. I never called you Great Ash, until that’s what you were— dust through my fingers, filling your own mother’s grave. You never called me seedling, your weak-limbed boy— frail-leaved & thin-veined in shadow. Every tree needs light, every crown wants to rise. We each wore ours differently. You died before your mother. No sun for you no head in star- soaked canopy. You kept me alive all the same, until they took you away, left your roots in the ground, bound to mine, as if to say Grow,baby. Reach, qween boy. Let your crown shine. deciduous qween, I of teeth, being shed at the end of a period of growth I forget how sharpness first emerged from my jaw the way milk teeth pushed through tender flesh how they scratched then chewed the insides of my cheeks just to tear another part of me raw. I forget the taste of blood a toddler’s iron on a toddler’s tongue the guttural scream of a small creature whose only language was pain. You remember. Tell me no toddler ever teethed with such indignation tell me your mama and I just wanted you to be happy to be quiet. But your baby just grew louder and louder into a gaudy and ungodly thing losing incisors and molars like enamel sequins shedding canines keen and shiny as plastic diamonds. They’d all fall out of my mouth like sighs so high-pitched they... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
Are you or have you been in an MFA Poetry program? Are you over 50? Ok, then you’ve read Marianne Moore's “Marriage” and know it is considered one of the most important works not just from Moore, but of Modernism. [Ed: Marianne Moore's "Marriage" may be found in The Oxford Book of American Poetry.] Published in 1923, “Marriage” is a long, complicated collage of statements and quotations on marriage, gender and male/female relations that evolve into a dialogue between Adam and Eve and it still holds up today. The institution of marriage has fundamentally not evolved drastically, despite women’s rights, legalization of gay and interracial marriage. And Moore’s use of collage to create the overlapping conversation of husband and wife, Adam and Eve is perhaps more relevant today than ever. We can envision Eve and Adam, sitting by the glow of the television, iPhones in hand, scrolling.Without looking up from his iPhone or to see if he is disturbing Eve, Adam blurts out: “Treading chasms/on the uncertain foot of the spear” and continues on “Past states, present state,” his voice rising. Eve shifts a bit as Adam has interrupted her own social media scroll. But he doesn’t notice, busy blabbing on about nightingales, apples, before admitting he “stumbles over marriage,/a trivial object indeed.” Does Eve bother to look up at this admission from Adam? She does for a moment, wondering if someone had posted wedding photos on Instagram that she’d missed, glances over at iPhone. Seeing nothing, she returns to study her own iPhone. They continue on for a while like this, maybe a “hmmm” or a grunt of acknowledgement that the other has spoken. Then Eve lights up, reads a snippet from her Facebook feed “for love that will gaze an eagle blind” quoting her friend Tony Trollope, and then a jibe from Shakespeare’s Twitter feed. Now Adam is paying attention. He hates that she follows Shakespeare, some girl crush he thinks. Two can play at this. They both start going back and forth, throwing out insults gleaned from social media pals and (possibly fake) news sites. Adam cites John Cournos’ retweeting Ezra Pound—“a wife is a coffin” is met with “well, maybe she ‘leaves her peaceful husband’ that Eve snagged from a Simon A Puget’s fashion blog. Side by side on the sofa in the dim light of the television, they continue on, heads bent over their weapons. When the television volume turns up to air an ad from Daniel Webster’s “Liberty and Union”, Adam and Eve briefly look up before returning their gaze to the little screens in their hands. Marianne Moore would not be surprised. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
In an MFA workshop last summer, an acclaimed poet declared that the moon was over, that it had been over used and needed to be relegated to the poetry graveyard with ravens and heart. Just like that. Done. The MFAs took note. No more moons. But I’m not yet ready to yield the moon. Instead I find myself now obsessed with it, guarding it from extinction. Like Diana, I hunt for moon references. Pounce on moon sightings. I keep an eye on the moon when it rises at night, as it lingers in the sky by day. I wane as it wanes, I am filled by its fullness. When a Super Moon blasts a hole in the night sky, I can’t look away, letting its spotlight hold me, entranced. I’m not alone. Google the recent Super Blood Wolf Moon and you’ll find over 55 million results. For one moon, on one night. When the moon eclipsed the sun a couple of years ago, the world looked up in wonder. The poets wrote. It’s cultural. Remember moon pies and Michael Jackson performing The Moonwalk? It’s historical. Remember Neil Armstrong’s real walk on the moon? Or just watch First Man and pretend you were alive then. In fact, the moon stars in nearly 1,000 movies according to IMDb. We croon to the moon, whether we are music fans of Oscar Peterson, Neil Young or Pink Floyd. Amazon lists over 20,000 albums and 60,000 books with moon in their titles. On, there are 107 pages of moon references. The poet Lillo Way has a prize-winning chapbook Dubious Moon [Slapering Hol Press] that is nothing but moon poems. Here’s one from Way’s book that captures the sensuality of the moon, its powerful draw: Frame the Moon Furred out, cased, paned and trimmed, the opening of a window. From my position here on the floor in supine half-spinal twist, my quarter-revolving eye catches a perfectly sliced-in-half moon centered in the upper right corner of the upper left pane of a window blued by a sky somewhere between baby-boy daytime and electric-transvestite midnight – the perfect globe cleavered by a celestial butcher-boy – the first half of hope, not the last, depending, I suppose, on your viewing point, mine being spine suppliant to floor, floor kissing earth and holding the kiss, earth sucking me hard, the half-moon mullioned and muntined, one four-millionth of a light-year away, beaming me up and off from here – half an inkling that, when the bones wave their white phalanges of surrender to whatever pulls us down – some unthing, some weightless, scentless, tasteless, wan thing, draws me up into a moon’s glowy, showy, half-assed bliss. The moon rules the tides of our oceans, of women’s bodies. It may orbit our earth, but we are in its powerful cosmic sway. Even Brenda Shaughnessy’s poem “I’m Over the Moon” [Human Dark with Sugar, Copper Canyon Press] where the moon is dismissed as: “A kind of ancient/date-rape drug” and “It’s like having... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
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Feb 19, 2019