Call me the bastard child. Fathered
by the whirlwind, lathed
in the ordinary, carnal way. Only
not what you’d expected, had forseen.
A perishable snowbank. Porridge in a bowl.
Its surface, called skin, broken by a spoon.
And this name a curio, misshapen wish.
oath of god?
A landscape gathers, teabright road
tipping toward a sodden platitude.
Bone, enamel, chitin.
That one might set a table with such cups.
As if, in reliquary, your bequest.
Hence my disinheritance, hence a plethora
feedlot, rift of stars—
spilled like a sack of seedcorn on the ground.
Elegy (IV) How Memory Unbinds Its Amplitude
time leans out of its
record sunsplit refuge past
remembering here there is no hunger
only a slow
insistence leafstalk bent toward light
the grotto of the gutted trunk
its blunt decay toward
grief the lichen blotched
persistent leaf mold detritus of sticks
the club moss cold
and breathing the leaf edge crimped and breaking from its
here there is no
record the puffball drifts from itself as
if our bodies gone to spore
grief could drift no
node no hesitance to seed us from
the torn astringent trees I who could
die past knowledge past belief –
the puffball voids its
case to wind a blind
intelligence deep in its genders impulse
of itself across
the spans of frost-cracked rock the
bracken mute and coiled the residue
of bitter salt the
insect newly broken from its sheath (the membrane pale and
alive) the toad whose
knotted skin metallic eye that this
might be such waste indifferent
undertake such distances a vagrant
species such as could be borne
sufficient to drift in tattered
light the scroll of fern its
as if in gesture
held the rhizome white unseemly
snail that crawls upon this necessary
needful loss (may or may not settle may
or may not lodge)
among such number
ache possible to issue toward the
knuckled seam of rock possible to bear
such pulse of
will (may or may not waken
may or may not fruit) this errancy
stalks its bed
an opening of wood rot the
dank ancestral stench
to replicate that
populace to loose its wash of spore
hold against such memory so
perish half-alive in kithless
survives perhaps goes
Anne Shaw is the author of Undertow (Persea Books), winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky
Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in in New American Writing, Gulf Coast, Green
Mountains Review, Black Warrior Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Verse. She has also been featured in Poetry
Daily and From the Fishouse. Her extended experimental poetry
project can be found on Twitter at twitter.com/anneshaw.
Archived at http://lit.konundrum.com/poetry/shawa_poems.php
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