you are still/rushing toward me
unhinge the following:
yr wet mouth
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
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
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 Lost 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.