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Posts Tagged ‘Peg Duthie’

A Study in Setting

July 9, 2010 2 comments

by Peg Duthie

At his workbench, Watson considers the jewel in front of him. It has accompanied many other gems across the years: a blue carbuncle, a black pearl, a queenly emerald. He has seen it resemble the flash of a blade and the wink of a hinge; the chime of its collision with a tiara is that of a violin string plucked by a spoon.

So many ways to see a stone: Watson knows that what he selects for its surroundings will infuse it with warmth or veil it in ice. Against silk, the stone radiates the ghost-heat of ashes; on a linen napkin, it is cool and slick to the touch as lab-clean glass.

Readjusting his loupe and reaching for his tweezers, Watson silently tastes these words on his tongue: You are the centre, I am the clasp.


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Peg Duthie (website) is a member of the Organization for Transformative Works.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

I am waiting for the right instant to say your name

November 19, 2009 7 comments

by Peg Duthie

I have torched battalions of straw men
in my quest to spin an ending to my liking.
I have cajoled seeds into uprooting secrets
before they are even drowned or buried.
I have fleeced both witches and sailors
and clothed empresses with newsprint veils.
I have given nothing away, although
many who partake of my measures fail
to recognize that everything bears a price.
I learned this from you. Your prints form a ghost
under everything I touch, a phantom
under every map I sketch, and once
I cease to care about what left’s to lose, I
will free you from the lump lodged in my throat.

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Peg Duthie (website) shares a house in Nashville, Tennessee, with a small piano, a large dog, and a drawerful of knives. She blogs at Chrysanthemum.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:

Kol Nidre

September 28, 2009 6 comments

by Peg Duthie

At last year’s service, she wore espadrilles
fashioned from a jacket she used to wear
to other people’s weddings. So many vows
polluted with the ashes of bridges. If
she believed in God, she’d have to berate Him
even more than she already does each time
she scrapes the sludge of sloughed-off oaths
from her well-tanned soul, or when she trims
cookie-cutter blasphemies out of her mind’s
ruthless replaying of her sins. Sloppy work,
she tells Him. I can’t love anyone
proud of setting me up to fail.
Yet, the years
she pretended the holidays weren’t hers,
she felt like an incomplete book, like a spine
losing its glue, pages dropping away
before their time. So now, each fall,
she brings home apples and honey, and wears
fabric shoes to shul the following week, chanting
a counterpoint within her mind
at every iteration of the Kaddish.

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Peg Duthie (website) shares a house in Nashville, Tennessee, with a small piano, a large dog, and a drawerful of knives. She blogs at Chrysanthemum.

Categories: Words of Power Tags: