to stay or leave . . .
the tension hurts our hearts as she,
frenzied and naked, prowls the dense night,
shifting from palpable dark to a fragile light,
driving to and fro along State Route 84, she
smothers terror with a diet of lattes and sweets

she’s on the run, carrying talismans in a bag,
small figurines of angels, Quan Yin, Buddha . . .
to stay or leave … as if the choice was hers –
her posture is bravado; ‘bite me,’ she says –
‘i’m not afraid to die,’ pain-wracked and dizzy,
her bones under siege; grasping, she’s consumed –
imagines safe harbor in Home Shopping Network
……………THINGS, anyTHING!
clutching at life in the inexorable face of death

© 2017, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

The recommended read for this week is Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast by Pulitzer Prize winning Megan Marshall who studied with Bishop at Harvard. This biography is richly spun,  energetic, engaging and even inspirational despite the breathtaking depth of Bishop’s losses, her sense of marginalization and her head-long push into alcoholism. Indeed, some of the inspiration comes because with all her loses, Bishop managed to hold poetry tight. Her poems were for her a charm “against the loneliness they often expressed.” The book covers Bishop’s relationships with other poets and her romantic interests, the last was for me the singular wearisome downside, much overrided though by the book’s pleasures and values. It is laced with Marshall’s own stories and together the lives of these two bare witness to the power of words to give shape, sense and meaning to life. We come away with a strong sense of Elizabeth Bishop, one of America’s most extraordinary poets. A page-turner. A must read or everyone who loves and writes poetry.

By shopping at Amazon through The Word Play Shop and using the book links embedded in posts, you help to support the maintenance of this site. Thank you! (Some book links will just lead to info about the book or poet/author and not to Amazon.)

The WordPlay Shop offers books and other tools especially selected for poets and writers.

THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

LITERATURE AND FICTION oo Editor’s Picks oo Award Winners oo NY Times Best Sellers


Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s