Before I write, I warm-up by reading and jotting down lines I love, or by imitating them (Ilya Kaminsky style!), but this whole poem struck me.
by: Stevie Edwards
The raw morning of
we say our eyes are cloudy
and ready, say good
riddance. We rough,
we slough and
slough our bodies,
lesions of tender
unskinned. The snake
doctor says this
is a symptom of
deeper illness. I can smell
my love making
coffee because this is
what love does
in the morning. We are
I wish into the scruff
of his beard, rub
his bald head for
luck or love. He
silently slices open
a melon, not quite
ripe but still
food-I take it
in my mouth. He
says this taking
without joy marks
the beast in me.
I rear my raw
neck back, ready
to strike like
the beast I am.
Is up on Treehouse today. Hurrah! Read it here.
by Paul Muldoon
How often have I carried our family word
for the hot water bottle
to a strange bed,
as my father would juggle a red-hot half-brick
in an old sock
to his childhood settle.
I have taken it to so many lovely heads
or laid it between us like a sword.
A hotel room in New York City
with a girl who spoke hardly any English,
my hand on her breast
like the smoldering one-off spoor of the yeti
or some other shy beast
that has yet to enter the language
All preachers’ daughters know this.
After small lifetimes
of tasting it doled out in thimbles,
after pretending to understand it
as some sort of stand-in for pre-crucifixion toasting,
some faux wine hired to re-enact savior blood,
all it takes is the hottest day of the summer,
in an old church thick with mildewed hymn books.
All it takes is the Mildreds and the Rubies
and the Irenes to turn their backs long enough
for you to slip through the swinging kitchen door.
If you can get to the fridge door unnoticed.
if you can use your entire body weight to pull open the door,
its rubber seal sticking with Sunday school popsicles and ancient Tang.
If you can unscrew the lid without dropping it:
one big swig
from the Welch’s grape juice glass bottle
will make your head swim,
will teach you things about holiness,
they didn’t want you to know
I love Caitlin. Every writer should have a friend like this.