Friday 6 April 2012

Mary Leader's Beyond the Fire (Shearsman, 2011), second selection

I've finally finished reading Mary Leader's Beyond the Fire and can't recommend it enough--it's excellent, and its array of forms, mostly invented, is magisterial. Note that in the selections below, the spacing on the page is generally not the spacing in the original--I've had so much trouble trying to figure out how to do intricate spacing in Blogger.

I would have been your most
Precise friend, if not your enchantment, the winding of
Your air.

from "Ending with a Spell Incised on a Rib of Scrimshaw"

But certainly angels
feel solitude through and through
As perfectionism heading directly for rage.


In times of
human war,
You'll hear angels railing at statues of saints, screaming, "Do something!
Do something!"


Later, soon, once Hunger and
the other
Angels in attendance this summer, along with all their swan cousins,

lie down to sleep, distributed there
On the water's bank, then Tearbringer, and all the other resident saints, come

and steal in among them,
To lie down too, interspersing, so that through
the night, their somber
robes and the glossy white wings
Make a chessboard, of gray and gray, camouflage,
to tax the eye, to baffle
the hand, of God

from "On Boston Common"

That is how ignorant I am, thinking those folk are somehow avatars of pertinence, whereas she knows, it is not from the hall that the fetch will come but from that corner


And of self-forgiveness, that part of the Janus figure stays inchoate

from "Folio"

Board slippage left of f, or keyboard slippage
Right--wind, or wing--"father" coming out "gather")

from "Patronymic"

Not one of us had but heard
the wind at night,
The perception for I am alive inside
the countable lives.


We'd heard the wounded birds
coming down from the sun;
We'd heard the psalms
centrifuging into eternity;


The most outspoken among us
now says only
that the most outspoken
among us then
was heard to say:
"It is begun."

from "Pentecost"

You can learn more about the book and find links for purchasing here on Shearsman's website.

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