Poetry 365

May 29, 2015

erin belieu
Poet Erin Belieu

This month for Poetry 365 we’re highlighting Erin Belieu’s savvy new volume Slant Six.  Crisp and conversational, this fourth collection from the LA Times Book Prize finalist explores “politics, pop culture, and parenthood” while reflecting on “our collective moments of hypocrisy and hope” in contemporary America.  Favorably compared to the work of Frank O’Hara and Tony Hoagland, these 23 smart, satirical poems show why the NY Times praises Belieu as “a comedian of the human spirit.”  So check out this fantastic new volume, sample a poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

Love Letter: Final Visitation

I come back to you
in the interregnum of wisteria,
.       in the epoch of the armadillo’s
fetching leprosy: storm season, mold season, season of
Savannah’s ghosts rotting for
.      the sozzled gawkers. Parked in
the public fountains, your banshees rattle
their Marley chains, carry signs that read
.      Will Work for Any
.              Human Sympathy.
.      But there’s none left over:
we blew, we consumed, we squandered, we lavished,
we bounced that check high as a Super Ball and snickered
as it leapt away.
.                   O, we were numb, dumb, and increasingly
wasted; put pigs in the Piggly Wiggly, did ravage
and damage. We read the infected stories, mumbled them
high at the lip of the Devil’s Pool. What is a kiss
.        but the mouth’s potential for wreckage?

.        I come back to you: yes,
.                 wept for, wracked, and now unfamiliar–
the cauldron’s cold in the shed and I can’t
put a hand to my planchette, no matter where
I look. Peace, peace, I free and undream you.
.        The priestess of nothing,
.                  I am pleased to be plain.

slant six

Russell J. (Readers’ Services)

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