Careful, I Just Won a Prize At the Fair

Careful, I Just Won a Prize At the Fair

Don’t remind me
how insufficient
love is. You
threw quarters
into a bowl. We are bones
and need, all hair
and want: this fish won’t swim
in a plastic bag
forever. My makeshift
gown is a candle, my breasts
full of milk for our young—
whose flames
are these anyway?

— Susanna Childress, more Entering the House of Awe

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

Poetry. “Readers familiar with Susanna Childress’s Jagged with Love will recognize her distinctive voice in these poems: her nerve, her honest, quirky, irreverent, immediate and embodied yearning that rushes, wordy, right up to the ragged margins! In this second collection, new formal approaches bring breath and space to the lines, even delicacy sometimes, but these fine poems move with no less urgency because they are compelled by her signature quest for truthfulness. This search refuses perfectionism and mere aestheticism, yet admits beauty en route, as Childress claims, There needs to be no right word / There needs to be a wide hole / a whole mouth / where the right word / isn’t”—Julia Spicher Kasdorf.


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