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Posts Tagged ‘Janet McCann’

Lucasta Responds to Richard

January 30, 2012 3 comments

by Janet McCann

after Richard Lovelace

My breast is no chaste nunnery
unless you fondle nuns.
I thought you’d passed on gunnery
for thighs, and breasts, and buns.

Don’t tell me honor is your goal.
You’re out for blood, of course.
I do regret the hours you stole.
Dick, go kiss a horse.


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Journals publishing Janet’s poetry include Kansas Quarterly, Parnassus, Nimrod, Sou’wester, New York Quarterly, Tendril and Poetry Australia. A 1989 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship winner, she has taught at Texas A&M University since 1969. She has co-edited two anthologies, Odd Angles of Heaven: Contemporary Poetry by People of Faith and Place of Passage: Contemporary Catholic Poetry and is the author of The Celestial Possible: Wallace Stevens Revisited. Her most recent poetry collection is Emily’s Dress (2004, Pecan Grove Press).

Categories: Imitation Tags:

Feeding the Invisible Cat

August 26, 2010 4 comments

from The Narrative House, by Janet McCann

I miss my animals, here in this strange house,
so I put out food
the dinner’s leftovers
hoping something will come.

And something does, a shadow
on the porch of the rental house
sometime after midnight
every night.

What you’re feeding, you say
is nothing you’d want,
a raccoon, maybe even a rat.

The guest does not like mushrooms
or onions. It licks them clean
of gravy. They lie on the dinner plate
like a still life.

What I am feeding
is something of distinctive taste
and a certain feel for art, I say.

It will show itself, I will make friends with it.
The shadow flickers
under the distant streetlight.
I put out Beef Burgundy.

A thunderstorm shudders the house
windows rattle all night

and in the pale washed morning
a haiku:
two button mushrooms
on the blue translucent plate
under clear water.


Included in the just-published chapbook House from Plan B Press.

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Janet McCann has taught at Texas A&M University since 1969. A version of the chapbook submitted to our contest won the Plan B Press Poetry Chapbook Contest, and she has won three other chapbook contests over the years. Her work has appeared in such journals as New Letters, Kansas Quarterly, Parnassus, Nimrod, Sou’wester, New York Quarterly, Tendril, and Poetry Australia.

The Young Woman Who is President

July 30, 2008 6 comments

calls the meeting to order; before her sit
rows of old women, grey hair
pinned in neat braids, or clipped short,
or folded into a bun, except in the last rows
wild, flowing over hunched backs,
over straight backs, grey-greeny manes.

she doesn’t know how she got elected. what
drove them to choose her. she does not have
large moles, varicose veins or even
any visible marks, her clothes
more appropriate for the boardroom, navy suit,
black pumps. she calls the meeting to order.

she knows when the women in the back speak up
(they have not yet) they will not speak in words.
their hands are vines. the veins are green and long,
they do not speak in words, their thoughts are leaves,
are branches, they will reach out from the back,
there is a noise already like the wind

in aspen trees, but growing slowly louder,
the rows are blurring as the women turn
toward the back with a sigh of joy. she calls
once more for order, order, the wind rises,
only the first row attends her till they turn
away, toward the trees. and she, too, reaches forth.

by Janet McCann

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Categories: Transformation Tags: