Monday, April 17, 2006

3rd Muse Poetry Journal

I spent time this weekend checking out some online poetry journals. There's great poetry being published online.

The current issue of 3rd Muse Poetry Journal has some lovely work, including this poem by Sarah J. Sloat:

Saw You, Want You

Saw you - corner of 8th
and Crescent, asking
a lady in fur for directions.
My mouth went limp when
you called her “ma’am.”
You smiled, and I felt
I might not have to walk
through life with this boulder
between my hands. I want
to lie down in your drawl, fall
asleep on the tilt of your eyebrow.
I kick myself for wearing
that hippie poncho, for not
having the car to drive you
where you meant to go.
I never did anything
like this before.
I was the 5’5 brunette
carrying a takeout pizza.
The walk signal went green.
I sneezed, and
you blessed me.

Sarah J. Sloat
3rd Muse Poetry Journal, Issue 33

This poem is a perfect example of how concrete detail can convey emotion. The narrator doesn't need to tell us what she feels; she simply describes the scene and her thoughts. "My mouth went limp / when you called her 'ma'am...' I want / to lie down in your drawl." A city girl falls fast for a southern guy. In that moment, she feels a lightening of her burden--literally, the pizza; but more generally, perhaps she feels the possibility that one day she won't be a single girl alone subsisting on takeout.

The ending is poignant and mysterious: "I sneezed, and / you blessed me." The narrator is noticed, if only peripherally, by this guy. Perhaps his "blessing" is a portent of positive things to come; if not with him, then with someone else.


MB said...

Amy, I'm still getting used to the notion that you are back in operation here!

I really like this poem because of the way is unsentimentally illustrates the powerful and whimsical sweep of emotion. The emotion is not described, but the effect is. And I find it very effective.

Amy said...


I agree. There is no need for sentimentality when the scene is illustrated so well. Well-crafted imagery is always the better choice.

sigmund fraud said...

This is a brilliant example of my pet "flash" poems theory, wherein the writer illuminates a brief moment in her/his life for all of us to cherish forever. Very good. Thanx for posting it.

Gilbert Koh said...

I liked this a lot too. Good choice.

Simon said...

I really liked this poem. It's the strong ending that gets me.

Amy said...

Sigmund: A well-crafted moment, definitely.

Gilbert: Thanks! I'm still reading this one.

Simon: I like that ending, too. The idea of being blessed by someone who is an ideal--he is everything perfect to her, because she doesn't know him--is very moving, and full of possiblity.