Holly Iglesias is the author of Souvenirs of a Shrunken World (Kore Press), a collection of poems focused on the 1904 World’s Fair, and a critical work, Boxing Inside the Box: Women’s Prose Poetry (Quale Press). She teaches at the University of North Carolina -Asheville and has received fellowships from the National endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, the Edward Albee Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her new book, Angles of Approach, was recently published in the Marie Alexander Poetry Series.
Marie Alexander Poetry Series:
Founded in 1996 by Robert Alexander, the Marie Alexander Poetry Series is dedicated to promoting the appreciation, enjoyment, and understanding of American prose poetry. Currently an imprint of White Pine Press, the series publishes one to two books annually. These are typically single-author collections of short prose pieces, sometimes interwoven with lineated sections, and an occasional anthology demonstrating the historical or international context within which American poetry exists. It is our mission to publish the very best contemporary prose poetry and to carry the rich tradition of this hybrid form on into the 21st century.
Motor whirring, screen emitting a smell like floor wax, Brother’s fist in front of the lens, blotting out Aunt Ruth’s head as she extends the pickle dish for the camera to see. Dust in the tube of light, antic as 8 mm film.
Children in the dark, untouched by war and all the parents know but never say. They stare at the rush of images—birthday cakes, Mother’s prize roses, a red Schwinn—jittery icons to comfort them in some future Babylon.
This morning I take as my text the third book of Ralph, where we learn of his wanderings and the conversation with demons on the open road that led to his first conversion—yes, his first, for there were to be many more, and yes again, because for him conversation was The Way, not the books by which we remember him, those most silent of conversations, but the garrulous meander that flowed so easily in the presence of strangers, that river of words with no apparent source which was—amen—the route to redemption as surely as Paul’s fall from his horse or Thomas’s probe of the Most Precious Wound.
SAINT OF SHENANIGANS
On the lip of dark ages, a canker, a queen of deceit, her felicitous tongue but babble to boys fattened on empire. Fidgety quick, she feeds a hem inch by inch to the ravenous needle, hair littered with pins and lint, shirtwaist crusted with starch for modesty's sake. The sass of that girl, a mouth that won't quit. Barbarians, the lot of them, filthy Harps, always drunk or saying their beads.
Oh Bridget, we pray ye, spare us the Know-nothings, their nativist spleen. Grant us patience to soothe the rage-racked heart.