09 April 2008

Sandra Meek

Reading by Sandra Meek
Poetry Society of South Carolina
7 PM, Friday, April 11, 2008
Second Presbyterian Church
Charleston, SC

Sandra Meek won the 2006 Dorset Prize for her poetry collection Biogeography. She won the Peace Corps Writers Award in Poetry for Nomadic Foundations, as well as the Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry, which she won again for Burn. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Shenandoah, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Colorado Review, and many others. Meek was awarded Editors' Choice for the 2002 James Wright Award given by Mid-American Review. She is a professor of English at Berry College where she teaches creative writing and contemporary literature. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana from 1989 to 1991.

[from Sandra Meek's Burn, 2005]

Reentering Atmosphere

Evening's laddered with ash, jet-line of pale
unraveling silk: primitive web, all axis and latitude. There's

in entropy. Which is why
there are so many flights all ending in runways, blinking
dotted lines, a jumpsuited man

wielding an arrow of light. Reassuring,

really, how night chisels the spectrum
to five shades of bone; how even the fly's

eight-paneled world shutters down
room by room in the spider's mid-air collision

of geometry and the aesthetics of hunger. If prayers were certain
to be heard, what

gravity they would take — the targeted
news of the hour, like yesterday's

civil war in pixels: refugees crouching in a landscape
of sand and static. The pattern's always been broken by one

off-colored bead signaling

mortality, the true believer. Now
the space shuttle has landed, earth's blue marble safely

rattling about one crew member's dreams.
Outside the bedroom window, a million newly hatched souls

swarm the streetlamp. It's still summer, and someone

is out late for a walk. The earth pulls from beneath
the road's tar strip like swamp mud, quicksand
in a bad movie which nevertheless

made him weep, even back out in the parking lot sun.


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