D.o.l.o.r.e.s.. H.a.y.d.e.n


I had a friend whose husband hated her to write,
so she hid all her poems in the washing machine.
         --overheard at a writers' workshop

Oh yes, she's published, even winning prizes
as her sestinas, sonnets, couplets churn
on Maytag time. Her new-found fame just rises
as the tub she's filled shudders, begins to turn.

Her heavy wash means nothing to her man
but clever woman, she invents new schemes
dizzier than most writers' minds can span.
At first she sorts, and loads, and soaks her themes,
then washes, rinses, drains, refills, and spins.
Her style defies all handbooks, satisfies
with forms elaborate as lambrequins.
Inventive, nimble, brash and quick, she tries

filtration and rotation and immersion,
plus Cheer and Shout and Biz--and a bit of fluff.
Baptized with washer, she's had a real conversion,
no more long mornings washing clothes. Enough.
The critics praise her measures, can't explain.
She thrives despite her man's idea of love
and singing loudly she decides to drain
the washer, risk some poems on her stove.


      --root of grumble (grim + glum)

A. banged his quantitative drum,
found B.'s approach too cumbersome,
C. whined of methods' martyrdom,
found D.'s position burdensome.
E. groaned at F., "High horse," he fum-
bled, "So, so, so . . . so meddlesome!"
G. smiled, referred us all to some
French theory. "Opaque and numb,"
sniffed H. "And what a detour," mum-
bled I, "for our symposium."
J. rued an hour of odium,
K. mused on the millennium.

Then L. stepped in--new hire, I fear--
praised frank debate. Not quite sincere.

For lunch they served a worrisome
shrimp salad in the gymnasium.
"Committees?" M. probed. "Martyrdom
to volunteer," N. moaned, "a bum
idea." O. cracked her Nicorette gum.
P. waved at Q., "Curriculum."
R., S. and T., heads down, kept mum.
Frowning, U. muttered, "Bothersome
admissions." V. chirped, "Search?" "Ah, Rum-
ble," said W., "will not retire." A grim
sour face on X., glummer than glum.
Y. swore. Pandemonium.

At last old Z summed up, "Hear, hear,
our next retreat, same time, next year."


Dolores Hayden's recent poems appear in The Yale Review, Southwest Review, The American Scholar, and The Best American Poetry 2009. The author of American Yard, she's won awards from the Poetry Society of America and the New England Poetry Club. In 2008 she gave the Yale Phi Beta Kappa poem. Her poetry collection, Nymph, Dun, and Spinner, is forthcoming in 2010. She's a faculty member in architecture and American studies at Yale. Earlier work in Mezzo Cammin: 2006.2 & 2008.2.


Maryann Corbett
Nausheen Eusuf
Anna Evans
Dolores Hayden
Luann Landon
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Lauren Clay: Addressing feelings of lost cultural identity and sitelessness, this work investigates ideas of the self as discerned through the lense of place and site. The search is influenced by various mythologies of place, such as the inherited place, found through home and community; the internal place which exists in the psyche or imagination; and the discovered place, found through study or travel.
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