That Was Now, This Is Then Vijay Sheshadri Graywolf, 2020. “We are obsessed with ourselves,” wrote theoretical physicist, Carlo Rovelli in his book, Reality Is Not What It Seems. “We study our history, our psychology, our gods. Much of our knowledge revolves around...
Heather Treseler’s new chapbook Parturition, named after the technical term for childbirth, is punctuated with medical vocabulary. Anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure. Caul, a baby born with a piece of amniotic sac on its head. Nullipara, a woman who has never given birth.
You orbit around a young star/In a rocket you travel to a pink planet/Fifty-seven light years from Earth
“What’s the start of summer for you, the signal that it’s here?” Nina MacLaughlin asks in her book-length essay Summer Solstice, published by Black Sparrow Press. And with that invitation the reader’s imagination is kindled, fueled by the flush of inquiries that follow: “Is it the last day of school? The lilacs or the day lilies? First sleep with the windows open?”
The achingly red Roma tomatoes / fill the bleached porcelain sink / like the bulbous detritus of summer. / The remnants of seed and skin / collide and float broken and hollow.
Past the coffee table, its treacherous / corners; around the hushed ottoman; / pause in front of the flickering flat screen / as if I’d stepped right out of it. My family gapes.
A quiet to these fields we called our place, / could almost hear the springs refeeding ponds, / fracked and gone with the deer and fox and grouse / thanks to the drilling’s thunder in the ground.
The river changed course / By three feet. / Thus the willow withers from thirst. / Thus the rock is set alone like an altar. / Thus the grassy hill browns.
The summer of 2013 / Was seen through rose tinted sunglasses / We gathered at Christa’s house, / Solemnly toasting to “the last year”
How many little lives in between my fingernails, how many layers / of sod, of seed? This cold grass is all corpse and it’s only six o’clock /
in the evening. At the group home, I’ll spoon green beans and strained peaches / into my grandfather’s mouth, push them back onto his plate when he shoves
Seventh inning, score tied, and Shaw leans back in his favorite chair and begins another beer. I’ve already had my usual three and have turned down his offer of a fourth. Since I got here he hasn’t said a word about anything but the ballgame, one we’ve been looking forward to against our division rivals. He doesn’t look at me when he comments on the game and doesn’t seem to care if I reply.
I’m the strut of starlight / in the open tabernacle— / I’m the songs of leopard frogs / in the dew-spackled grass.