Field

Articles from No. 95, Fall

All Together, on Three
A little punch in the headnever hurt anyone wearing a helmet or fallingdown an elevator shaft and therefore distractedfrom the pain of the pugilistic weatheraround this place. One day it's raining haymakers,the next, snowing jabs, and that's just romance.What...
Brighter Is Not Necessarily Better
In the days after I'd learned of C.D. Wright's death, I thought I was remembering some final lines from one of her poems. I wasn't. I was misremembering some final lines from one of her poems. The lines, from "Crescent" (a prose poem) are "draw nearer...
Consolations and Regrets
ShallCross is C. D. Wright's first posthumous book (it may not be the last); it's also one of her best, and if you read it from cover to cover you will find most of the themes and approaches for which her poems are usually praised. It holds, for example,...
December 29
I found myself unable to consumethe scallops after reflection-their whole lives wereeating and suffocating.This is much sadder than tortured people-in extreme pain we leave our bodiesand look down to commit the painto memory like studious angels.The...
Fire and Water
One of many things I admire about C.D. Wright's work is the way she integrates large mysteries into the (necessarily) smaller lives to which her poems bear witness. Nowhere is this more evident than in Translations of the Gospel Back into Tongues. Among...
Hoh
Bunchberry groundcover, Sitka spruce, bigleaf maple, red alder,Western redcedar, lettuce lichen, Pacific tree frog & spotted owl-we were all present there.If there were two who want to be alone, or be together, or onealone & one together,there...
Imaginary Friends
It started with the chicken toy-fuzzy, a foot tall,bad gift from my mother-in-law. When you pressedthe button it flapped its stubby wings,played a chorus of the Chicken Dance and wobbledaround in a slow circle, green eyes flashing.It started by itself...
Imprint
At night the moon shakes the bright dice of the water . . .The paper framing Louise Bogan's lyric "Elders"flaps like an old dish towel, the kind with "Monday"stitched on it, shaggy hole off-center,light weave defecting in the laundry,obedient to bleach.Voice...
It Has Been, Yes
We ease into abstract wicker chairsto discuss the latest hailstorm.The noble dead within our bodies flip overas we sip from high voltage jars.The sounds of all the fallen trees replayas a children's choir or dawn sitar.Our toes probe the softening ground.There...
Künstlerroman
Sometimes I think it began with the impossibleromance of an owl and a cat. The years my dad sangme to sleep. Or it began with the silence he left.Or it started with drawing butterflies I wantedto collect. I wanted to catalog beauty. Pin wingsto a box....
On a First Reading of "Our Dust"
After I received the kind invitation to choose a poem of Carolyn's and say a few words about it for FIELD, I picked up Steal Away, which was lying to hand, and opened it, at random, to "Our Dust"-a poem which for some reason I had not known.It took hold...
One River
1In Kanji a window means thinking:windows carved on river-stones,on tumbled slabs of agate. A windowhanging from a tree: simplicity.You think of your liver as an aqueductdisappearing into a geologic fold.Or a cloud, loaded with hail. So we diealone,...
Our Dust
I am your ancestor. You know next-to-nothingabout me.There is no reason for you to imaginethe rooms I occupied or my heavy hair.Not the faint vinegar smell of me. Orthe rubbed dampof Forrest and I coupling on the landingen route to our detached day.You...
Render Billow
1.Follow the mentor across a street,a jaywalk to rare steak and talk of pepper.Crosswalk denied again upon return.My hesitation about headlights,but mentor goes. I do. Other side.Then we hear a crack. Car halt.Follow the curious family tosee the raised...
Reunion of the Class of the Past
When the bell rings we're in a room on one side of the corridorfacing the other side,face to face,as if we're looking for each other,what I like about rooms is that they're re-used or re-occupied, as longas there's a room you can return to itlike a kind...
Tough and Tender: The Speaker as Mentor in "Falling Beasts"
Carolyn Wright could be a tough teacher. She loved to tell an anecdote in which Flannery O'Connor was asked whether the university kills writers. "It doesn't kill nearly enough," O'Connor supposedly said.1 When I submitted my first poem in an undergraduate...
Unfinished Poem
We waste nothing, turn scrapsinto feasts of loaves & fishes: shredded,pot-pied, spaded into soy-struck rice. Youhad to teach me:in shielding mefrom her own childhood my mother instilleda distaste for thrift, the scumboiled out of bone. For me she...
Vial
I was having blood drawn again, undergoing testingfor my mysterious ailment. The phlebotomist and Iinhabited the usual mix of small talk and silence-then she giggled. What is it? I said. It's just,isn't this strange? she said, holding up a vial of my...
What Seems like Joy
how much history is enough history before we can agreeto flee our daycares to wash everything away and start overleaving laptops to be lost in the wet along with housecats and Christ'sown mother even a lobster climbs away from its shell a fewtimes a...
Woman 1 as Exhibit
Figure 1: A CHILD foregrounded in chambray, fistsknots in the grass. One white knee stained green.Figure 2: Wood panel, 3 feet square, light grain pine, behind whichTHE FUTURE is obscured. There is a knock.Figure 3: A pair of olive hands combing HER...
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