Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Fortunate Islands, Susan Kelly-DeWitt


My mother, gray bird
beside a white bowl
of pomegranates

They flare
against her face
creating an odd

She is retelling the family
myths. In this one, her mouth
is cut and bleeding, her teeth
pop out like seeds.

It is winter.
My father is King
of the Underworld.

"My whole mouth,"
she explains, drawing open
her lower lip, exposing the hidden
scars, "was pulp."

I memorize exactly, word
for word:

He was quick
and strong, his punch
like a boxer's.

We'd been married
only six months, still newlyweds...

as I pluck a pomegranate
from the bowl, hack it

open, place

a single blood
red seed on my tongue

Copyright © 2005-2008 Marick Press All Rights Reserved

Buy the Book

Read what The Montserrat Review has to say about The Fortunate Islands.

Susan Kelly-DeWitt is the author of six chapbooks: A Camellia for Judy (Frith Press, 1998), Feather's Hand (Swan Scythe Press, 2000), To a Small Moth (Poet's Corner Press, 2001), Susan Kelly-DeWitt's Greatest Hits (Pudding House, 2003), The Land (Rattlesnake Press, 2005 ), and Cassiopeia Under the Banyan Tree (forthcoming, September 2007), as well as a letterpress collection, The Book of Insects (Spruce Street Press, 2003). Her work has been included in national and regional anthologies such as Claiming the Spirit Within (Beacon Press), I’ve Always Meant To Tell You, Letters to our Mothers (Pocket Books), Things I Never Said, An Anthology of Letters to Fathers (Story Line Press), O Taste and See (Bottom Dog Press) and Highway 99 (Heyday Books), and Words and Quilts (Quilt Digest Press, 1996); her poems have appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, North American Review, Rosebud, Cutbank, Nimrod, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Iris, Comstock Review, Oxymoron, Yankee, Runes, Poet Lore, Smartish Pace, Poetry Southeast, Cimarron Review, Spoon River Quarterly, Hawaii Review and Passages North, among many others. Her short story “The Audience” is forthcoming as an illustrated chapbook (Spring 2007) from Uptown Books. She has been the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University and has won a number of awards, including The Chicago Literary Award from Another Chicago Magazine, the Bazanella Award for Short Fiction and a number of Pushcart nominations. Her essays, interviews, reviews and creative non-fiction have appeared in Poetry Now, Small Press Review, Perihelion and Gardening at a Deeper Level (Garden House Press, 2004). She is currently a part-time instructor for Sacramento City College and the University of California, Davis Extension. The Fortunate Islands is her first full-length collection of poetry.

No comments: