Poem of the Week - Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet reads 'Rage to order'

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 14:21 Australian Book Review
Published in Poem of the Week

In this episode of 'Poem of the Week' Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet reads her Peter Porter Poetry Prize shortlisted poem 'Rage to order'. ABR's Poetry Editor, Lisa Gorton, introduces Lisa who then reads and discusses her poem.


 


 

Rage to order

1.
insert here: dark joke about sharks (keep swimming or they die)
cruising around the apartment    something always in her hand
                                                                                                                 movement
from here to there, returning:      every wayward thing
                                                            needing her to find its home

~
idle, idle, wedge-edge of panic     polishing itself
she is easy to dismiss, is difficult, elegant

too, demanding, too
much

in the house
of self, she is the sleeper
                                              cell, rogue

~
sharp whir, levitating
mission: eradication

all the edges singing

all the clean all the blade, only the everything there, and not
                                                                                                              the not-

2.
o darling see this bed I have made you,
                                                                          so white

3.
what she was, under that tree, stack of books
at hand, was lonely (sole, not tragic, still:)
only, clear gone, tumbling
                                                into pages

4.
everything needed her

5.
and meanwhile, back to the cells, doing their job
perhaps a bit too well: look at them shine, O –

if foreign: eradicate
if possibly foreign: no chances
if only
~
                                                         O to be
perfect                 clear                   shot through
                                                                                  all silence in the piercing light

6.
because she read Plato at a tender age
because it feels like fixing
because if she does what they expect they will leave her alone
because the right slant of light
because something to push against

because annihilation

some pure beauty some glacier singing

7.
literally, no metaphorically, no literally

8.
{if in doubt, eradicate.     if skin, if swell, if possible
invader, encompass, wall off, flood
to inflame ::

              repeat

                                             better safe – }

than what? then
what? Some slip

past the bracket-gates, then –
                                                              what?

 

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

 

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet's The Greenhouse, winner of the Frost Place Prize, was published by Bull City Press in 2014; Tulips, Water, Ash was awarded the 2009 Morse Poetry Prize. Her poems have been awarded a Javits fellowship and a Phelan Award and have appeared in journals including Rhino, Zyzzyva, The Collagist, Blackbird, and Kenyon Review Online. She writes, edits, and teaches in Oakland, California, USA. (www.lisagluskinstonestreet.com)

 

Published in Poem of the Week

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