Deborah Ager’s first book, Midnight Voices, was published in 2009. Her poems appear in New England Review, The Georgia Review, Quarterly West, Birmingham Poetry Review, and New South. She’s received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the West Chester Poetry Conference, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and she received a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.
If they liked mangos, we’d have none,
mama says. We move yard to yard.
We squat and bend to pick up fruit.
She slides her full hand deep into the sack
to keep the fruit from bruising. I see a curtain
move in the house and wish for better clothes.
My dress has holes — too small to see,
mama says. But even a needle does nothing
to fabric this thin. The threads I’ve sewn
hang over holes like a weak bridge.
The sun is a torch on my burnt ear tips;
it won’t let up. I am dreaming of yellow
meat, sweet threads sewing my tongue quiet.
I know how to make one piece of toast last,
not to complain when my back throbs.
My hands slip over the smooth mango skin.
The air is an oven and won’t let up –
not even for two hungry women
calculating how long this fruit will last.
The following poem is a horse less poem video.
Tony Mancus is the author of three chapbooks: Bye Land (Greying Ghost), Bye Sea (Tree Light Books), and Diplomancy (Horse Less Press). He is co-founder of Flying Guillotine Press and works as a quality assurance specialist and writing instructor. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife Shannon and their two yappy cats.
Early Elegy: Headmistress
By Claudia Emerson
The word itself: prim, retired, its artifact
her portrait above the fireplace, on her face
the boredom she abhorred, then perfected,
her hands held upward—their emptiness
a revision, cigarette and brandy snifter
painted, intolerably, out, to leave her this
lesser gesture: What next? or shrugged Whatever.
From the waist down she was never there.
In honor of National Poetry Month we will be posting a poem by a poet from the Mid Atlantic region each day.
Today’s poem comes from Richmond poet, Joshua Poteat:
Self Portrait as a Mourning Dove
On the side of a desert road
a headless dove,
its body a basket of ants,
basket of creosote stems.
To live at all is to grieve
and from what life
did we gain this trust,
awake each dawn
to find the bright air
rustle and coo
in the widening palms?
Visitors encounter the first room of the Phillips Collection exhibition “Angels, Demons, and Savages” as a kind of explosion, all the more intense for its tight containment in a small physical and chronological space. Side by side are works of the French advocate of “raw” art Jean Dubuffet, the American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock, and the Philippine-born artist and advocate Alfonso Ossorio. The work is colorful, intense, energetic, brute and forceful, and there is enough of it in a relatively small space to catalyze feelings of attraction and repulsion, and intimations of kinship and contrast between paintings that seem at first deeply connected, and then later just as deeply different in their aims and technique.
Christopher Hitchens, who died just over a year agoafter a stoic and very public struggle with esophageal cancer, wasn’t one to pull punches on fools, saints or the recently departed. When Jerry Falwell died, Hitchens went on national television to express his satisfaction that a man he regarded as a traitor and charlatan was no longer with us. He memorialized the 2003 death of Bob Hope with an essay ending with the line: “Hope was a fool, and nearly a clown, but he was never even remotely a comedian.” For those he found dangerous, despicable or merely wanting, death offered no quarter.
The Bell Jar was published less than a month before Sylvia Plath killed herself on 11 February 1963. To mark the 50th anniversary of her death, writers and poets reflect on what her work means to them