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Posts Tagged ‘Martha Deed’

The Snake

August 14, 2010 Comments off

by Martha Deed

So
listen
to me listen to me
wouldja
wouldja
wouldja
I was out
rolling my abs
dodging the bees
and other bitin’ things
ya know
when out of the weeds
nymphlike apparitions
careless dancing lassies
bore down on me
one stepped on my head
so I bit the kid
for her carelessness
ya know
ruinin’ my sleep
for the next
thousand years
her old man
twangin’ the strings
day and night
and not very well
either


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Martha Deed (website, blog) is a retired psychologist who makes trouble with poetry inspired by crises and other mishaps around her house on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, NY. Recent publications include her chapbooks, The Lost Shoe (publisher’s page, video trailer), 65 x 65 and #9, and an e-book, Intersections, a 20-day journey of the unexpected. Recent poetry publications include: Iowa Review on the Web (with Millie Niss), Unlikelystories.org, Poemeleon, New Verse News, Dudley Review, Helix, The Buffalo News and many others.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

Wounded Man at War in the Metro Père-Lachaise

June 8, 2010 4 comments

by Martha Deed

“Too sad to sing” the older Auden wrote to whom
as un mutilé de guerre took my seat on the Metro Père-Lachaise
and glared at me, jealous of my youth and two fine legs. “Why
are you here?” he demanded to know. “He’s buried in Kirchstetten,
Lower Austria, I believe. That last poetry reading killed him on the spot,
and no funeral procession through those streets could bring him back
to life: A poet’s worst nightmare to be killed by one of his own poems,
I believe, and as for me — just look at this scarred face, this empty sleeve —
uglier than anyone inside those gates if you chose to dig one up.
‘La cité des morts’ some call it — a name that could apply to all of Paris
if you ask me — since the great De Gaulle resigned in ’69 — some say
because of mai soixante-huit. He’s not here, you know, but keeps his peace
in Colombey-les-deux-Eglises.” The wounded man gazed down,
then up again with moistened eyes: “They didn’t like him much, you know,”
he whispered in the humming train: “your FDR and the cigar – Churchill…
They even tried to throw him out.” He raised his voice in raspy rage.
“Can you imagine? Our Gallic Rooster, our premier resister?
denied his place by johnny-come-latelies who never fought
a war? We stood them down: the meddlers. You won’t find them
buried here — your Gertrude Stein, the garden poet, they let her in.
Pennsylvanian born; Parisienne by choice, she knew of war first-hand,
rejected the repetition of it, lacked the foreign leaders’ chutzpah,
and knew the strength of modesty: ‘I have lived half my life in Paris,
not the half that made me but the half in which I made what I made’
she said.” He shifted in his seat as the train entered Republique,
then quickly gained the open doors. “You resemble her,” he said.
“But thinner.”


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Martha Deed (website, blog) is a retired psychologist who makes trouble with poetry inspired by crises and other mishaps around her house on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, NY. Recent publications include her chapbooks, The Lost Shoe (publisher’s page, video trailer), 65 x 65 and #9, and an e-book, Intersections, a 20-day journey of the unexpected. Recent poetry publications include: Iowa Review on the Web (with Millie Niss), Unlikelystories.org, Poemeleon, New Verse News, Dudley Review, Helix, The Buffalo News and many others.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

After James Tate

March 18, 2010 1 comment

by Martha Deed

I don’t like knives, Sam said to his wife
on the morning of her minor surgery
to remove a thingy from her neck.

Sam’s wife contemplated her response for twenty minutes.
She was a devotee of James Tate and had heard him say that his poems took a long time to write, because he had to wait twenty minutes for each new line.

The twenty minutes came and went.
None of the immediately obvious responses
would seem to fit the current situation:

But you use a knife to carve the Thanksgiving turkey
shave your chin
remove a splinter
excise bindweed from your garden

This is what she wanted to say,
but she did not. Her silence
a testimony to the weakness
of her poetics this October morning.

The point is
it is the obscure, clever,
mind-piercing response
that is required
the stranger the better
and bindweed does not even come close

but Sam had not completed his disquisition
I do like Boy Scout knives
and fish knives
and even Swiss Army knives
although the latter are a bit
too much like quiche
which I eschew, he said

as Sam’s wife
the woman with no name
continued to meditate on James Tate
What would the Poet say here
she wondered
Is it fatal that James Tate a man
perhaps would not respond as she
a woman would
under such complicated circumstances?

This gender issue would haunt her for the next hour.


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Martha Deed (website, blog) is a retired psychologist who makes trouble with poetry inspired by crises and other mishaps around her house on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, NY. Recent publications include her chapbooks, 65 x 65 and #9, and an e-book, Intersections, a 20-day journey of the unexpected. Recent poetry publications include: Iowa Review on the Web (with Millie Niss), Unlikelystories.org, Poemeleon, New Verse News, Dudley Review, Helix, The Buffalo News and many others.

Categories: Health Tags: