03 October 2009

Barbara Guest

[from Barbara Guest's Collected Poems, ed. Hadley Haden Guest, Wesleyan, 2008]

Cape Canaveral

Fixed in my new wig
the green grass side
                hanging down
I impart to my silences

Climate cannot impair
                neither the gray clouds nor the black waters
the change in my hair.

Covered with straw or alabaster
I'm inured against weather.
The vixen's glare, the tear on the flesh
covered continent where the snake
withers happily and the nude deer
antler glitters, neither shares
my rifled ocean growth
                polar and spare.

Eyes open
       spinning pockets
for the glass harpoons
       lying under my lids
       icy as summers

Nose ridges
       where the glaciers melt
into my autumnal winter-fed cheek
hiding its shudder in this kelp
                cracked as the air.


  1. Gorgeous language. I can see why you love it.

  2. I think I have some of her work in Augusta. Her lines are dynamic;each word SO exquisitely rooted.