Honorable Mention for My Poem “Epoch,” at Art on the Trails, Beals Preserve, September 2018

This summer I took part in  “Art on the Trails: Unexpected Gestures” at the Beals Preserve in Southborough, MA. Poets were invited to respond to one or more sculptures installed along the trail that meanders through the preserve’s woods, meadows, and pond. My poem “Epoch” was one of two to receive an honorable mention. When I first glimpsed Robert Shanahan’s powerful sculpture “Entelodant” in the woods, adrenalin surged through my body along with the impulse to run from what looked like a giant, very lifelike warthog (on closer examination, artfully made from reeds and brush)! (Entelodant went extinct 65 million years ago.) Here’s a photo from the closing ceremony and poetry walk, followed by my poem and a better photo of the amazing sculpture.

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EPOCH

The earth collects on all its debts

                                    —Michael Crummey

 

Beast, with your bronzed fur of reeds and twigs,

your stone teeth, your hooves, stone-cloven,

the stripe of sumac threaded through

 

your flank. Whorl of your woven ear.

The snarl of you, moving through

the gape of your snout. Bristling

 

comma of tail where the spider has knit its web.

Entelodont, you are the dark other who makes

the small mammal in me shudder.

 

You, swept through the Oligocene’s long wake,

peering back, late and strange. We, too,

wear ourselves thin.

 

When we are as you have become,

who will know us, who will call us

by the hard-washed light of our name?

 

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For a link to all the sculptures and more about the program, click here:

 

 

Very excited to be reading at Belmont Books with Gabrielle Calvocoressi, November 15, 7 p.m.

I’m excited and honored to be reading with Gaby, and this is a rare chance to hear her in the Boston area. I took her workshop two summers ago at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and I can attest to her generosity of spirit and her intimate way of channeling the voices of foxes and lichen, lovers, siblings, parents, magical creatures, humans who are mythical, and myths that tell the human story.
As Brian Spears writes in Rumpus of her new book, Rocket Fantastic, which is just out in paperback from Persea Books, “Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s third collection, Rocket Fantasticis a beautiful book which asks the reader to live in a world where gender and language are both fluid and linked together in a dance which swings, sways, and surprises at every turn.”
Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia EarhartApocalyptic Swing (a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize) and Rocket Fantastic, winner of the 2018 Audre Lorde Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer’s Award, a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, TX, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review, and a residency from the Civitella di Ranieri Foundation, among others. Her poems have been published in numerous magazines and journals including the New York TimesPOETRYBoston Review, and Kenyon Review, and The New Yorker.  She is working on a memoir entitled The Year I Didn’t Kill Myself, and a novel, The Alderman of the Graveyard. She lives in Carrboro, N.C.
 
I hope you can join us on Nov. 15. Free street parking is available on Leonard Street and in the parking lot directly behind the store. For a link to Belmont Books, click here: