April 6, 2015

Into what depths tonight love plunged me

and into what Rockaway

and into what farness; high furnesse; infarcted;

and how from the mouths of the ATMs

fat tapes flared; of love; as at Christ’s deposition

carved lamenting nuns all flared with grief;

dressed in the wood’s lamination

their wimples blown back in the blast of love;

and fixed there; and how the little pinhole

was fixed to the ATM and phished for PINs

took data into its cramped oscura

sang back to the attentive scammer; so frightfullie

high in frequency the progam locked;

it took up immobilitie; wore a rictus so swart

crime could not perambulate or steal out

but froze; and lov’d; and blew; Odius et amorous I

was scraped for love; as my cervix

was scraped for a sample; and shewed the cells displayed

like a displastic wall; defrosted; all out of sorts with itself

that wall refused its maker’s device, refused to make defense and onlie

slumped and allowed an o’ergroaning armie

with ill-buckled armore and flaccid stantions

to advance. Avast, it bloomed at intervals, built in Spring

a drain, a puncture. How damp Dame Lymph rode out then,

in disarray, on her cipher. And spread her golden hair

in every jointure.


–Joyelle McSweeney (St. Joseph County)


Joyelle McSweeney

Joyelle McSweeney  is the author of eight books of poetry, prose, drama, and criticism, most recently Dead Youth, or, the Leaks, which won the Scalapino Prize for Innovative Women Playwrights, and The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults, a book of essays from the University of Michigan Poets on Poetry Series. She edits the international press Action Books and directs the Creative Writing Program at Notre Dame.

Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem from an Indiana poet every day in April (hand-selected by Indiana Poet Laureate George Kalamaras). Check in daily to see who is featured next!

Posted In: Poetry

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