Monday, September 21, 2015

From "Grief Abstracts," Julie Carr (Boston Review, 2009). I love how, despite being a prose-poem, and somewhat fragmented, Hopkins' timbre rings clear:

Grief of fire in its final flash and
                                smolder. The weight of her speaks spark’s brief ire become ash,
ruinous food full of dolor. To recall her laughter is to grow older. Fear’s rife in
this filial order. If molded, I’m fodder for air, and I’m colder. Since I lost her I
stored her like ore in my form as if later I’d find her, restore her.

Here, too, are some lines from Joyelle McSweeney's Contagious Knives (excerpt from the Poetry Society of America):

Devil (to Swan, amiably)
Have you heard the buzz?
Each screen is hot with it, each watch and pocket.
How the kid enlistee cowers in the dumps
He looks like this one, narcissistine,
Stripped naked, as he's a threat to himself
on a very high level!
His name is Bradley Manning.
He's a puppet and a larva, a pupa, and a ghost
A ghost orchid, moth, I mean a goat.
If we were tragedians
we'd play his slit throat,
We'd play the ghost pipe, the bag & faggot,
the bundle of bees. On my bundle of knees.
But alas we're only tatties, falsies
we live in glass bottles
we report and you decide, deicide. 

I particularly like "play his slit throat"--"play" makes for such a wonderfully sinister verb-choice!  And the "goat"/throat" rhyme totally echoes this amazing moment in Elizabeth Bishop's "Crusoe in England," a poem I LOVE:

"But then I’d dream of things  
like slitting a baby’s throat, mistaking it   
for a baby goat."
Bishop's lines are actually quite a bit more sinister: with McSweeney's poem one is clearly in the realm of play (and this work is from a drama!)--albeit that which is deadly serious. 
Finally, I dig JM's "we'd play the ghost pipe, the bag and faggot."  In this line, fire--bonfire of the vanities?!--burns, sends its smokes, its signals, and limns--ghosts--bag-pipe and the smoking body of a Gay man under immolation.  Smoke as like ghost--that makes sense to me.  And, too, the spectral bag-pipe makes sense: surely sucking--"blowing"--cock could be deemed akin to playing that gutsy instrument.

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