“It’s emblematic of our societal discomfort with poetry that so many blurbs for poetry books use the word ‘unflinching.’ Actually, I think poets should flinch. We need to get better at flinching.” ~ Lia Purpura
Yes, I have eaten ants’ eggs. Faintly sweet little clusters whose honey
clicked a little between your teeth. Sometimes, parts of bodies
still clinging fiercely by a thread.
The tech on duty explained about the suction created in the vein
when pulling back against the plunger of the syringe. Let me try
again, he said, gently swabbing with alcohol.
Old wives’ remedies for warts: drops of muriatic
acid. Frog piss. A razor blade cutting
clean and across from the base.
Swarms of winged ants— thin waists, bent antennae—
after days of heavy rain. Gleam from basins of water on the porch:
I cried to see the drowned ones sheathed in their gossamer.
Dear Fyodor, how old will I be when old grief passes gradually
into quiet tender joy? For hives, sometimes I’m tempted to pass
the back of a heated spoon on raised, feverish skin.
In response to Heard at AWP.
6 Replies to “How to Flinch”
fantabulous! how do you do that so effortlessly?
Nice. (The quote — or paraphrase, since i didn’t jot it down word-for-word — is from Lia Purpura, by the way. I reviewed her book King Baby a couple years ago.)
I love her “On Looking”.
At the heated spoon…I’m flinching…
enjoyed these, each one, thanks