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Online Feature: “Midwest Still Life, In Motion” by Karyna McGlynn

you are still/rushing toward me

 

    unhinge the following:

 

                                                                                plum gut

                                                                                blue bells

                                                                                white rose

                                                                                yr wet mouth

                                                                                a silencer

                                                                                suckling pig

                                                                                in attic dark

 

you are hurdling/through the anonymous country

 

on the phone you sound like a man standing still

 

& despite your movement through the night’s           raw flank

 

your voice is weirded with cobwebs & cannot           move me

 

 

I stare at the space where I’ve opened           the door

I can see the night commute coming on           thick:

 

a long train full of few glossy fruits

                                                                                purple patch

                                                                                wax leaf

 

Texas is a tall stranger walking away from me           on the street

But you keep coming/I want you to remain           standing still:

a man frozen in action, who never arrives:           a still life

of his own best intentions while I enact my           sweet recoil:

 

                                                                                blue in the lip

                                                                                divisive cherry

                                                                                sour rotgut

 

You are still/the man who goes to long

romantic lengths to assure his death &

you are the train who comes to repossess           my trunk

to sand back the dark where I’ve turned           my old globe

                                                                                on its axis

*

This poem appeared in Indiana Review 32.1, Summer 2010. 

Emily Corwin (Poetry Editor): Earlier this year, I fell in love with Karyna McGlynn’s work after reading I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl. This poem embodies much of McGlynn’s playful voice and form on the page, the precision of imagery, the way she builds a world with sensuality and rich texture. This is the kind of poem that transforms each time you read it—it is a travelogue, a painting, a movie, a letter. I cannot wait to read McGlynn’s next collection Hothouse, forthcoming from Sarabande Books next year.

*

Karyna McGlynn is the author of Hothouse (Sarabande Books 2017), The 9-Day Queen Gets Lostmcglynn%20tin%202 on Her Way to the Execution (Willow Springs Books 2016), Alabama Steve (Sundress Publications 2014), I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Sarabande Books 2009), and Scorpionica (New Michigan Press 2007). Her poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, AGNI, Ninth Letter and Witness. Karyna earned her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and was recently the Diane Middlebrook Fellow in Poetry at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry and Translation at Oberlin College.

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