May 24, 2018

SARAH DESROSIERS-LEGAULT: I AM MADE OF THIS

Sarah DesRosiers-Legault
I AM MADE OF THIS

After another one
dies, they'll tell me: don't
avoid being alive.

But - my body is worn
by the in-between.
My skin knows that cold place,

naked on tiles, sticky and
dying. When I am in rehab, I’ll
notice more.

I’ll see that mosquitos
under blue light are
some sort of magic. I can hear.

Gravity makes noise when you
know it’s there. Over the filling of the
mop bucket I’ll tell you about the times

I was molested. I’ll notice the brightness
of the yellow and the muck in the places
muck can build up.

Some stars eat other stars, you know?
One swells until it can
swallow the other whole,

they call it sharing.
A promise that hides what will
explode into black holes.

On good days

I'm okay with being alive,
I just want to do it drunk.


Sarah DesRosiers-Legault writes, works,studies and lives in Montreal. Her work has been published in Anti-Heroin Chic. On writing poetry, she says: For me poetry is an act of healing. Somehow it makes saying the unsayable so much easier. Also, it is a way of eternalizing every thing or person I have lost. I get to enter different elements of my own grieving that I might not have even known to be there. This piece ("I Am Made of This") was inspired by "The New Experience" by Suzanne Buffam, which I read while I was feeling blocked--it immediately cured that. I can sometimes find it difficult to share my poems, as they really are such personal parts of myself. I think what I’ve learnt as a poet is that I probably just have to suck it up and put it out there.

April 26, 2018

BOB CHURCHILL: A POEM



Bob Churchill
AN OLD SURVIVOR CALCULATES HIS RECOMPENSE

I’ve let the backyard go to jungle
again.  Not like “The Bush” in Vietnam—
after fifty years still the place
of nightmares, with lime-green pit vipers
nestled in lianas, blood-sheened
leaves large as platters,
teenage girls in black pajamas
eager to poke me full
of bullet holes with battered AK-47s.

Here, chest-high stands
of nettles meant to sear
red itchfire blisters into skin,
4-foot dandelions gone to lace,
pungent wild onions fatter
than my thumb.  And the Creeping Jenny,
a toddler testing newfound legs,
has somehow galloped everywhere.

Here, a Ruby-throated hummingbird
siphons nectar at a feeder. Cicadas
rasp metallic song from ash-leaf-
sunshine-flutter. The almost-painful
sweetness of wild Honeysuckle
perfumes the courtyard.  And festooning
twenty feet of board fence,
the draped ramble of an unpruned
Concord grapevine.  Each season

its hard green beads stuff
squirrels’ guts months before
that drowsing afternoon,
forever in the future, when full-
to-bursting bunches push themselves
into my hand, beg to be popped
one-by-one onto a thirsty tongue
or pressed through thick, rich, purple ooze
into warm Summer wine.

My former co-editor of poetry at Douglas Glover’s Numéro Cinq, Susan Aizenberg, introduced me to Bob Churchill, a Vietnam combat veteran (1969-70) who recently retired after thirty-eight years as Assistant Professor of English at Creighton University.  He has written poems all his life, but has published very few over the years—mostly in small literary magazines.  In May, 2017, he graduated from Creighton’s MFA program.

Bob writes: What draws me to poetry? I love the challenge of trying to communicate an experience in language that's packed so full of possibilities it incandesces. Some favorite poets:  Dylan Thomas, Yeats, Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Ted Kooser, Susan Aizenberg, Betsy Scholl (and many others). The most challenging thing about writing poetry for me is disciplining myself to sit down and write regularly.