Hello from your old poetry buddy Matt Lamberti, and happy new year. Trust me that these gaps in communication are inadvertent, but they are starting to tell me something about my gusto for this project, and so I’ve decided to give Monday’s Verse a proper retirement after 20+ years “in the business.” It’s been my distinct pleasure to walk around in others’ words with you via email. I’ve certainly learned a lot from you, and discovered so many favorite new poets and poems.
If anyone wants to get in direct touch with me about any specific poem, poet, conversation, by all means please do. Remember that our extant archives are available at the blog Arwen set up for us years ago:
(abetted by Theresa’s & Katie’s cached e-mail inboxes)
I hope that you will all remember to read “Blue Monday” every February 14, keep the birds singing, and keep the sorrows fresh.
I give the last words to Sandra Lim, educated at UC Berkeley (PhD) and the Iowa writers workshop (MFA). She is a Korean-American scholar, essayist, and poet with 2 verse collections and several prizes to her credit, currently teaching at UMass-Lowell. About her own work she has commented that she is attuned to “the mystery of other people with other subjectivities,” which is a mystery that keeps me coming back to the well again and again. This one’s from 2006, and I hope you enjoy it. -ed.
SOMETHING SOMETHING SOMETHING GRAND
I adore you: you’re a harrowing event.
I like you very ugly, condensed to one
deep green pang. You cannot ask the simplest
question, your hold is all clutch and sinker.
Cannibal old me,
with my heart up my throat, blasting on all sides
with my hundred red states. Hidden little striver.
How not to know it, the waist-deep trance of you,
the cursing, coursing say of you. Embarrassing today.
Curiouser and curiouser,
your body is a mouth, is a night of travel, your body
is tripling the sideways insouciance. The muscle
in you knows gorgeous, in you knows tornadoes.
In an instant’s compass, your blood flees you like a cry.
You put on my heat,
(that’s the way you work) I’m a bandit gripping
hard on the steal. The substitutions come swiftly,
hungering down the valley, no one question to cover
all of living. I arrange myself in the order of my use.
You’re wrong and right
at the same time, a breathless deluxe and a devouring
chopping down the back door. You slap my attention
all over the dark. What’s in me like a chime?
Sometimes, sometimes, I come to you for the surprise.