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Posts Tagged ‘Jeneva Stone’

Female Parent

July 28, 2010 1 comment

by Jeneva Stone

for Mary Shelley


1997 : I bid my hideous progeny go forth

and prosper. I have an affection for it,
for it was the offspring of happy days
when death and grief were but words
which found no true echo in my heart : M.S., 1831

 

The anxiety cupboard of suburbia : houses gestational pods
daddies scatter for work in their suits and ties

mommies finish breakfast dishes wipe faces push strollers to the park
the daddies return : sometimes : it is dark : sometimes

light : it depends on the season : close the door on your unnecessary fears

 

Natura nihil frustra, is the onely indisputable axiome in Philosophy (T. Browne, 1643)…

 

The delivery room is like this : light & dark : dark & shadows
tightening & relaxing pain crenellating then : easing

sometimes the room goes : white brilliants dancing around
loved face in the center : dark : a spotlight masked faces

all around the margins then you are : stitched

 

…there are no Grotesques in nature nor anything framed to fill up empty cantons, and unnecessary spaces…

 

Forced through barriers love comes : eerily beautiful like God’s breath
beauty a sort of barricade : behind it crouches something unaware

 

1816 : Invention does not consist in creating out of
a void, but out of chaos—it can give form to dark,
shapeless substances, but cannot bring into being
the substance itself : M.S.

 

Mary nurses William on the summer shores of Lake Geneva,
Percy and Byron’s laughter bouncing back to shore in bursts as
the sail inflates, deflates, inflates, a human heart tacking—

The rain drags with it evening sheeting toward the manse,
at the hearth flames grope like hands, clasp and unclasp,
Mary’s imagination birthing, dilating upon so very hideous an idea.

Harriet will drown herself in amniotic waters of dark November,
will force her lungs full with fluid, percolate it through
cell spaces of her brain, her heart, breath after blue breath.

December’s end, cusp of the year, Mary and Percy wed—
vows constellated like a barricade, behind which
Clara forms, cellular spark tindered with a dark breath.

 

1998 : Dream that my little baby came
to life again—that it had only been cold & that
we rubbed it before the fire & it lived : M.S., 1815

 

The Pacific is cold in June—his feet balance on packed sand,
the tide undermines them, a thrill of fear as water surges—
our last snapshot from a great distance, framed icon of normal.

A day in July and he cannot crawl—body now a hospital puppet,
we prop it up, curl around it at night: by day, punctured, digitized
and monitored, tapped for secrets. We ask the wisp inside to stay.

August and still we hold arms down on a white table
too long for him, while the PICU nurse looks for a vein—
his cry is measured, repetitive—resignation, defeat.

September, an end to imagination: reality is nimbler,
quick past this stunned body, disassembled brain—
not what we made, but what love in making requires.

 

…There is therefore no deformity but in monstrosity, wherein notwithstanding there is a kind of
beauty, Nature so ingeniously contriving those irregular parts, as they become sometimes more
remarkable than the principal Fabrick…

 

My heart is a cupboard filled with love and fear : doors snap
open and birds flock out : black pressure rising throngs

a thousand childish vees : half-hearts bursting
as around us small perfect bodies skip a beat while

 

Victor has pushed and pushed his dogs : sled’s runners slicing
rust slough behind them gasping : cold

air burning down : acid air wrenching up blood
exertion : brains flame against the polar ice while

 

Clara : William : Percy—dead—1818 : 1819 : 1822
blue tongues : fevered pores : the brain shuts down

on the sight of blinking lights on shore : or
a face framed with damp black hair while

 

…to speake yet more narrowly, there was never anything ugly, or mis-shapen, but the Chaos

 

ahead of all, the monster leaps nimbly
from floe to floe shrieking
a falsetto promise
to burn himself
alive


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Jeneva Stone — poet, blogger, mother, federal employee, practical g/i nurse, interpreter of EOBs, queen of medical necessity letters, keeper of the family exchequer, unlicensed physical therapist, knowledgeable wheelchair mechanic — may also be found at Busily Seeking… Continual Change.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

(incantation: ekstatic)

October 30, 2009 3 comments

by Jeneva Stone

I have gone back to ground
back to the fine root hairs
that lie along your skin

gone back to ground I have
in hand the world’s blue cup
faint musk of you within

back to ground I have gone
into murk of natal flesh
thrust of the child-wish

gone to ground for you I yearn
bound to you ever make return

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Jeneva Stone — poet, blogger, mother, federal employee, practical g/i nurse, interpreter of EOBs, queen of medical necessity letters, keeper of the family exchequer, unlicensed physical therapist, knowledgeable wheelchair mechanic — may also be found at Busily Seeking… Continual Change.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:

Montana Sky

September 10, 2009 9 comments

From the 2009 qarrtsiluni chapbook contest finalist And Not As She Was, by Jeneva Stone

August 2002, Montana

Because it’s like waking from a thousand years of sleep to see that sky now — the first time
I was seventeen and remember the car tracing a line across the state’s broad back, the wind

shearing across the grassland, the mountains always arched in front of us — the sky so deep
but it pressed on me, left me flushed and shaking — and driving, driving endlessly —

my friend, who lives there now, says the grasslands are called West Dakota, the way the earth
lies flat, rolling out toward the Rockies, he says the speed limit used to be just

reasonable and prudent, but they’ve brought it back down to seventy-five —
when we were younger, I liked the way he held my face in his hands when he kissed me.

August 1986, Vermont

I was mute under that sky because coming from the east all I knew were grids
and boundaries, lines and houses locked in patterns, traffic lights at every corner —

one night I straddled my friend’s lap, took his face in my hands and kissed him — not
what he wanted — but he said, stay, and we were so close we were like one pulse —

years pass and I remind him, tell him how it felt — like flooring it through a stop sign, the fear
of impact took my head off, made my hands numb, how I wanted to laugh out loud, and then

all that year or more I couldn’t sleep without struggling, and he says he can’t remember
anything like fear in me, just my scent, my small breasts, and his own drive.

August 1987, West Virginia

Speeding across the New River Gorge Bridge that rolls out a flat half-mile or more,
more than a quarter-mile down, an arched back supporting a steel frame,

the longest single arch bridge in the world, my friend tells me, he likes the flatness
of it under him, the way it lies mostly still, but quivers when the big trucks cross —

What do you want? he finally shouts, pounding the steering wheel with his fist — I don’t
understand this question, the weird, blank, blueness of it suspended all around

the bridge over the tangled crotch of the river — later, I think I know: he is sure
I love him, would be his if only he asked, which he does not do and never will.

December 2002, Maryland

When my toddler daughter cries out in frustration, there are too many rules,
I want to tell her, well then, jump that fence and run —

but I don’t because I remember that in books written for adolescent girls,
heroines in the old west like to ride their horses out fast over the reverberating sod

until their homes slip back under the earth’s slight curve —
holding the rope bridle tight in their hands until their breath comes in short gasps,

until everything they know vanishes into the slit between sky and grass.

Download the podcast

Jeneva Stone — poet, blogger, mother, federal employee, practical g/i nurse, interpreter of EOBs, queen of medical necessity letters, keeper of the family exchequer, unlicensed physical therapist, knowledgeable wheelchair mechanic — may also be found at Busily Seeking… Continual Change.