Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Megan Burns and Poe

I once read about study which examined how well people recognized the back of their own hands. Perhaps while sitting on them, they were shown photographs of similar-type hands (e.g., thin, hairy,white, male) The result was little, if any, better than chance. Thus, clarity might be glaringly unclear, or at least in its interstices there may lurk whatever it is so surely lurks there. Our dear familiar? The set of our fetch? A hole in the eye where a man in the eye should have been? Predicate of chaos? Thus Burns and Poe.

A Sonnet
        –Megan Burns (7.1.07)

we’re up to the waist and don’t belong here
that’s why I’m feeling hard avocados
and you’re amid sliced watermelon chunks 
in their translucent plastic packaging
the skies remain as friendly as ever
the vine ripened tomatoes stay firm
it’s been over a year here in New Orleans
and somewhere young gazelles are leaping
and a chunk of snow falls on a phone line
ending a stalled silence between lovers
a squirrel crosses a street to bury nuts 
this is less a poem and more a way round
try to believe that other people are 
not the problem while taking up the work


Sonnet - Silence
                    --Edgar Allan Poe (1840)

There are some qualities--some incorporate things, 
That have a double life, which thus is made 
A type of that twin entity which springs 
From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade. 
There is a two-fold Silence--sea and shore
Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places, 
Newly with grass o’ergrown; some solemn graces, 
Some human memories and tearful lore, 
Render him terrorless: his name’s “No More.” 
He is the corporate Silence: dread him not! 
No power hath he of evil in himself; 
But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!) 
Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf, 
That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod 
No foot of man,) commend thyself to God!



Megan Burns edits the poetry magazine Solid Quarter ( She has been most recently published in Jacket Magazine, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, Trickhouse, and the Big Bridge New Orleans Anthology. Her poetry and prose reviews have been published in Tarpaulin Sky, Gently Read Lit, Big Bridge, and Rain Taxi. Her book Memorial + Sight Lines was published in 2008 by Lavender Ink. She has two chapbooks, Frida Kahlo: I am the poem (2004) and Framing a Song (2010) from Trembling Pillow Press.   She lives in New Orleans where she and her husband, poet Dave Brinks, run the weekly 17 Poets! Literary and Performance Series:

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