Friday, March 27, 2009

More from Mary

Oh, and what the heck. Here's one more.
"This is the World" first appeared in Juked before becoming a part of the Autumn House book, "a theory of everything."

This is the World

This is also the world
A small boy drops
a maple leaf down a well.
A girl, slightly larger, does likewise --
peering over the stone lip to guess
the leaf's curled and wayward descent.

Across the yard, behind a stardust bush,
the housecat is toying with something still alive.
It flits through the grass, now here now there,
delighting the cat with its antic struggle for flight.

I am in the world too, wondering:
Do I kill the bird for mercy? Do I take it inside?
What would Dickon from The Secret Garden do?
The book-animals loved him so, showing their mildest
bellies beneath satisfied, glinting eyes.

I might think we all want such love,
even from a half-dead bird -- except
my brother was once chased down a walking trail
by a man who'd just killed his first turkey
and to celebrate, downed three six-packs
and started firing at hikers. He hounded after
my brother, hollering for all the world
like Yosemite Sam, "I'm gonna get you, I'll get you!"

The man later told the police, "It seemed at the time
like the thing to do."

This is the world,
and where we spit,
where we stomp, where we fuck and crap,
and all that jack built, and whatever's next
and whether we forgive our father
or trust strangers to take zoloft,
and why the trees on one side of the hill
bud green before the others,
and if we make our way to Egypt,
and who there holds a broom, and who a gun,
and once we finally lie down at the end of the day
on our mattress or hammock or stone slab,
how the moon just keeps throbbing
so we sense loss too keenly,
and what finally is the thing to do --
and if we carry our children
inside our own bodies, and where
we plant our pumpkin seeds,
and why we fear caves
and dark
underwater places,
the dark under water,
the dark
-- someone please stop me,
I could go on forever, it is
after all, the world.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poetry from Mary Crockett Hill

Mary Crockett Hill's A Theory of Everything was released this month by Autumn House Press. I'll post an interview with her next week in honor of National Poetry Month, but for now please allow this poem, which appeared in Pank before it became a part of the Autumn House collection, to serve as an introduction. (It's not exactly for the kids, so I'm not linking up with the Poetry Friday crew...)

Why I Gave Up on Astral Projection

My body, when was it
I realized you are so full
of shit? Literally. Shit.

The food and the churnings
-- all the blood-heavy
mass of you. The old binding

between us, now fixed.
There was a time I did not know
I even had a body.

I was all in my head,
nouns vibrating
like tiny harps.

It seemed inevitable to float
above those organs, that skin
so likely at any moment to slip

from my supine shell
and surge into the universe.
(I dreamed I could leave

then come back.
Will such faith also return?
The whiskered self

shaved clean again
by the cutting ache
for flight.) There is a blue cord

holding me back. And more --
the children, the child in me
who now knows what she eats,

my neighbor's dying lover, his rickety
lawn chair, the bend of my mouth saying no,
the waiting, the laundry, the need

to spoon and stir in a room
that will not be the moon
no matter, no matter how I worship it.