Denise R. Weuve

Ink Damage and Other Permanent Stains

Day 8 ~ Mary Szybist

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 12.23.31 AMI read Mary Szybist‘s  Incarnadine, for a class in my MFA program. An assignment I do not recall, but the book I do. I was maddeningly in love with what Mary Szybist did with holy Mary and the crossing and the separating of herself and the holy mother in that book. I went to catholic school, was raised in the church so I found automatic familiarity with her work. But what I marvel about was how she did not forget the work behind the poetry. Her notes are extensive and I imagine her research was volumes of material that never even made it into the book.

For those of you going to AWP she will be part of the festivities. Get to her reading, and get to her panel. How do you miss the 2013 National Book Award Winner? Here’s a little information on those:

Saturday, April 11
AWP Conference Events in Minneapolis, MN
9:00 am: Panel on Charles Wright at 80: A Celebration of Poetry and Teaching:
Auditorium Room, Level 1
4:30 pm: Reading and Conversation with Linda Hogan and Eric Pankey:
Main Auditorium, Level 1

If you aren’t going, like my poor hiney here are a couple of poems to make you even sadder

 

Hail

Mary who mattered to me, gone or asleep
among fruits, spilled

in ash, in dust, I did not

leave you. Even now I can’t keep from
composing you, limbs & blue cloak

& soft hands. I sleep to the sound

of your name, I say there is no Mary
except the word Mary, no trace

on the dust of my pillowslip. I only

dream of your ankles brushed by dark violets,
of honeybees above you

murmuring into a crown. Antique queen,

the night dreams on: here are the pears
I have washed for you, here the heavy-winged doves,

asleep by the hyacinths. Here I am,

having bathed carefully in the syllables
of your name, in the air and the sea of them, the sharp scent

of their sea foam. What is the matter with me?

Mary, what word, what dust
can I look behind? I carried you a long way

into my mirror, believing you would carry me

back out. Mary, I am still
for you, I am still a numbness for you.

Source: Poetry (November 2008).

 

 

Apology

I didn’t mean to say so much to you.
I should have thought to let the evening end
by looking at the stars subdued

into their antique blue and alabaster hues.
Such looking would have fit with my intent.
I didn’t mean to speak that way to you.

If I could take it back, I’d take it, undo
it, and replace it with the things I meant
to give—not what I let slip (it’s true)

like any pristine star of ornamental hue.
I do not always do what I intend.
I didn’t mean to say so much to you.

It slipped before I saw, before I knew.
Or do we always do what we intend?
Perhaps it’s true and all along I knew

what I was saying—but how I wanted you.
I should have thought to let the evening end.
The placid stars seemed filled and then subdued
by what I did and did not want to do.

From the book Granted

Found on PBS.org 

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