My poem “The Bitter Celebrates” is live at Amethyst Review. Thank you, Sarah Law, for taking this piece.
Read Lily Blackburn’s insightful review of Stephanie L. Harper’s This Being Done.
This Being Done by Stephanie L. Harper
What happens when we read time into everything? History, mythology, the aging of the earth, all in the span of a glimpse, a moment? In This Being Done, time echoes ancient. Thematically, I wondered if ideas for many of these poems were inspired by “How to Take An Amazing Photo of A Solar Eclipse,” being a witness to growth as a parent whose child is diagnosed with autism: “Trust in his gift of seeing every moment in terms of geological time—/ of constantly holding the cycles of mountains/ rising up and eroding away in his mind’s eye… ” From elegy to epitaph, the threads that weave this book together are perspectives on motherhood and femininity seen through both a modern and mythologic lens; in place of sentiment or a conclusion we are given a raging dragon. Harper places the reader in a space…
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This talk of destiny and exceptionalism and the incessant
push towards terror inflames my metaphorical innards.
Birds may kill, but they don’t practice genocide and never
erase history’s missteps with published falsities; their songs
remain true. Not so with man. What grows importance is
not what you hold but what another has in his grasp, no matter
how tenuous. I think of water and how some would charge
for the right to drink, or withhold it from those who cannot
pay. And air? Whose breath defines the dollar? Or the fear
that a distant neighbor might receive a benefit that you
neither need nor desire. Crows claim territory but roam
with the season, adapt as necessary. While they may provoke
curses in their wake, their damage is temporary and they
don’t poison for profit. If I could leave my post what station
would I accept? Having shared my days with sky-bound
friends, how could I choose another? They sing and swoop
and cooperate among the winds, taking only what they need.
They neither hoard nor covet. They steal but don’t swindle.
Their wings lift no grudges. Even gravity respects them.
“Scarecrow Replies” first appeared in MockingHeart Review in May 2018. Thank you to editor Clare Martin for her generosity and many kindnesses.
In Praise of Chiggers
And the others
of digestive juices
allergic reactions and
by your fingernails
scraping the skin
around them, over
and raw, again,
again, it feels
“In Praise of Chiggers” first appeared here in August, 2017. We’re past the season now…
I’m honored and delighted to report that my poem “Other” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the editors of Bold + Italic. The writing is everything, but it’s nice to know that someone out there in the world has responded to a piece. And as it turns out, my friend Kristine Brown was also nominated by Bold + Italic. Be sure to read her poem, too!
Drawer of Possibilities
In the drawer of possibilities
you find stasis, the lure of the unknown.
To what should this hinged orb
be subservient? Or that wrinkled blade?
An egg, the bald potato. The sacrificial
carrot? To everything its purpose.
Like that light in the crook of the
altered frame, attracting the winged
beings. You, of course, serve nothing.
“Drawer of Possibilities” appeared in The New Reader in March 2018.
Here’s a link to the YouTube video of my reading at Malvern Books on October 20.
And here’s Clare Martin:
And Bessie Senette: