M’s first chapbook collection of poetry invites the reader to walk in the footsteps of a young widow on her intimate journey through grief. To That Mythic Country Called Closure, a Concrete Wolf Poetry Chapbook Award winner, travels to the depths of drug dens and mental institutions, grief support groups and ordinary kitchens to honestly portray what occurs after the funeral is over, all the mourners have returned to their comfortable homes, and the widow is left startlingly alone. By turns both tragic and amusing, these raw poems reveal what most widows are unable or unwilling to say. Order your copy today:
The book’s opening poem, a finalist in the 2013 Split This Rock Poetry Contest judged by Mark Doty:
Yes, we the young widowstake Ambien to sleep, Ativan for anxiety,
Celexa just to scrape off the haze.
We fear barbecue grills, give his motorcycle
to his best friend. We wear wedding bands
too large for thumbs, make a bathroom fixture
of his dirty coffee mug, buy towels
to match. We sit in his chair,
stare at our own vacant one. Any man
on a motorcycle makes us wish
we’d kept our helmets.
We’d never tell you we performed
CPR while he vomited in our mouths.
And that we’d do it again.
What would erase that taste?We hate your sad eyes, your Teleflora
delivery vans, cards telling us
our “insert Name of Deceased”
will remain forever in your hearts
where they don’t belong. Please don’t send
God’s love to enfold us. We hate God.
We’d hate God less if,
while he was snatching our husbands,
he’d had the courtesy to set the garage
on fire. We hate having to comfort
you when you call. Hate you simply
because we once were you, convinced
we were prepared.
~ M, from To That Mythic Country Called Closure
Praise for To That Mythic Country Called Closure
“In one of the most powerful poems in this collection of powerful poems, a young widow at the after-funeral reception for her deceased husband speaks of ‘undigested grief.’ The nearly insurmountable charge at the core of these poems is to confront and attempt to digest such grief. M’s penetrating voice is both authentic and unforgettable as she maps the unwelcome territory through which she must journey To That Mythic Country Called Closure.”
~ Andrea Hollander, author of Landscape with Female Figure, Woman in the Painting, The Other Life, and House without a Dreamer
“M’s poems are graphic and gorgeous, cruel and compassionate, morbid and flowing with life’s deepest hopes and beauties. I love the way she talks to people, alive and dead, using a language that is both idiomatically casual and masterfully rendered. There’s an artful honesty to this voice I can’t resist.”
~ Dr. Henry Hughes, Professor of Literature and Writing, Western Oregon University, and recipient of the 2004 Oregon Book Award in Poetry for Men Holding Eggs
LInks to poems on Rattle.com that include audio of M performing the piece (click on the speaker above M’s name) —