Coastal Poems

WHEN THE ANSWER IS NO by Gwyn McVay

When the Answer Is No

The elder gods sleep and don’t care
about you or your precious egrets

You kicked him, you kicked the disaster
god, and now a webby hand

tastes nothing like persimmons or paradise
Did you think you were more than tissue?

A prophetic gull carried away
your plastic-cup soul to an underwater city

suddenly aroused: what lives beneath
is bad when turbulence ruptures its sleep

So much for the powers of humans
You set a thing in motion at irregular angles

man wasn’t meant to graph, and every grain
of sand for centuries will bear a licking of oil,

a guilt-tongue grown from your heart


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STATEMENT

I am always mindful of Joan Retallack’s word “poet(h)ics” in deriving my vocabulary of space from the natural and altered landscape. That is, I feel a duty to make sure my mind-field includes human interactions, for good or ill, with the world: in my state, the highways one travels were created by massive removal of metamorphic rock; humans feel compelled to create graffiti statements of identity to write over the palimpsest of railroad beds. The way in which I construct poems, then, reflects the fractures and juxtapositions that are inevitable at this point in history.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gwyn McVay is the author of two chapbooks of poems and one full-length collection, Ordinary Beans (Pecan Grove Press, 2007).  She teaches writing at Millersville University and Temple University.

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One thought on “WHEN THE ANSWER IS NO by Gwyn McVay

  1. Pingback: Not Your Usual Media “Coverage” « amy king’s alias

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