Monday, May 22, 2006

New Issue of eratio

The Spring 2006 issue of eratio postmodern poetry was released today: go check it out! Meanwhile, here's an example of what you will find there:

Evening Moths, Morning Anchor

i'm so unfamiliar with painting
wrinkles on my restless skin.
why don't you stir me with kindness?
be good to the woven
muscle on my shoulders,
put the tips of your middling
fingers on my bony spine,
shake the dirt from my vertebrae,
tear it from my back,
mend it with your hands,
spend the evening
making me whole again.

or is it the plucking of strings
that I'm so unfamiliar with?
why don't you raise hands
to me and flick digits across
my cheeks making them into
waves of fleshy ocean.
pull out the sides of my mouth
and reach down deep for
the dim lamp light of a soul.
sift through piles of antiques.
an old heart, a soiled liver,
smoky lungs—an umbrella
lodged in my stomach!
grab it quick and open it fast
to hold you in the clear from
a family of moths who have been
feeding on my woman parts.
they will swarm into your open plane
because your light is bright.
I am drawn to you and anchored
to your hip while you spend the evening
pouring kerosene down the drain.

is it the settling colors on your face
that are so unfamiliar?
reds and rusts about my clavicle
blend like bleeding sunset pigments.
why don't you wash me with your hair?
smear the stain across my breasts,
ripen me with hue at my navel,
float me on the surface of the lake,
spend the evening dyeing the water.

Nubia Hassan

I love the sensual ferocity of this poem. The subject is yearning to be undone, unmade, even ripped open, by someone who will be willing to put her back together again, to "tear" her spine from her back and "spend the evening" making her "whole again." The experience of physical connection with another human is so "unfamiliar" to her; we can infer that she has felt solitary for a long time, given the "family of moths who have been / feeding" on her "woman parts." She is ready, even desperate, for connection; willing to be reached into, grabbed, and pulled apart.


Mr Wang Says So said...
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Anonymous said...

This is a chilling poem. For some reason I relate this to the String Theory (discussing it would be a headache).
There is something timeless about the voice in this poem. She is detached in a way.

Amy said...

Mr. Wang:

Before you removed your post, you had a link to a Ted Hughes poem which I think is very appropriate.


I know a little about String Theory. Perhaps it's the way she is pulled apart and put together in pieces, that you can take the same pieces, fit them together differently, and create something new (?)

Anonymous said...

I think that she is detached. It's hard to put into words. Ironic, huh?
It's as if she feels she is out of sync, almost wants to be pulled into reality/with others...Does that make sense?

Amy said...


Yes, I can see the detachment. Perhaps that is what the speaker is getting at with all the references to unfamiliarity. Maybe she feels numb, and the desire for an almost violent connection seems necessary so she can at least feel something rather than nothing. Yes, that makes sense to me.

MB said...

I think she's asking to be brought back to life. There's a desperation, the violence being required to revive her, shake her loose, clean her up, breathe life into her. But the sensuality suggests to me she's asking it of a lover, perhaps. It's an old plot line: there are many old folk tales along these lines — the skeletal, dead woman who is loved back to life.

I thought the Ted Hughes poem relevant, too.

modern_poet said...

See a discussion of the connection betweenString Theory and poetry at IT will blow you away Marvin. Joe bite me.