My mother was a beautiful bird who fluttered around people in a state of constant agitation. Terrified of being trapped, she was always opening windows, even in the middle of January, and rushing out of doors “to catch a breath of fresh air.” Once outside, she would disappear in an instant, only to return hours later, the wind and leaves and twigs in her hair.
To read a Bridget Lowe poem is to observe a gradual transformation, a transmutation of the ordinary into progressively more extraordinary metaphysical states. Anyone who read Lowe’s first book At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky will be excited to see, in her new collection My Second Work, a return of the same immense imagination, which she utilizes with surgical precision to prod at what makes us human.
Remember when you lived by a single quote, / repeated most days / with a fundamentalist zeal, / little need to say more?
After Airdra divorced me, I gained forty pounds and killed our parakeet. I should have let Airdra take her beloved bird but inflicting pain was my top priority.
In the blue bathroom, my mother’s hidden Kotex. / My pajama crotch smeared with first blurred fire.
I learned a lot from the free museum lecture on the Reformation, / how it wasn’t really Holy or Roman or an Empire at all / when I step back and let the big picture blur. That night / at the trattoria, a stranger with thinning gray wisps
The end of Frank’s world doesn’t go out with a bang or a whimper, but rather with the siren of the emergency broadcasting system and a smoky, pink smudge on the western horizon.
Patricia Colleen Murphy’s first collection, Hemming Flames, is an intricate and intimate portrait of family, struggle, grief, guilt, and moving through it all. It’s a book about feeling strange—not part of the family you were born into, and not really part of yourself—with the body you were born into. It’s a book about trying to find shreds of certainty, and about trying, period.
“Eden” by Tariq Thomas won the Youth Poetry, Prose and Pizza Slam hosted by the Brattleboro Literary Festival. Green Mountains Review is proud to publish Tariq’s poem. Congrats, Tariq!
My love, we floated for hours / In kayaks, side by side, scarcely dipping our paddles. / No motors allowed here, no soul in any / Of the southerly shore’s three other cabins.