Marly Youmans

Auguries by the Lunar Calendar

After the auguries in The White Book of Rhydderch, c. 1325

If the new moon rises on a Monday,
Doublespeak invades the capitol,
The desert's almond groves begin to sing,
And rulers let the flock of elders die.

If the new moon rises on a Tuesday,
The politicians scrawl apologies,
Robots harvest bumper crops of honey,
And heads of foreign women will be shaved.

If the new moon rises on a Wednesday,
The bees will fail and southern orchards die,
Celebrities are banished to far isles,
And jargonese will rule the marketplace.

If the new moon rises on a Thursday,
Shakespeare flames like witches at the stake,
The figures in stained glass begin to shout,
And someone spits on the beatitudes.

If the new moon rises on a Friday,
The old moon wraps herself in shawls of blood,
Technology is worshipped as a god,
And children howl together in a ring.

If the new moon rises on Saturday,
The snows will fall at twilight and at dawn,
All border walls go permeable again,
And storms of sand from China scour the globe.

If the new moon rises on a Sunday,
The stars, the seas, the flowers yield up praise,
Citizens go back to raising sheep,
Tremendous secrets tremble in the air.

Dream of Wheels

December's Cold Moon flamed between the spars
   Of paled-out northern lights, with stars

Fast-snared between—and for one fleck of time
  The world was hushed, in perfect rhyme

With silences of space. Birds on the nest
  Tucked head below a wing in rest

As wheels of some vast chariot revolved
  And arced across our unabsolved,

Still-fallen world: another whirling wheel.
  The blinkless hoops of eyes, surreal

And dazzling-bright, alighted on a spire
  To crown the tree with staring fire.


Recent publications by Marly Youmans include: the long poem Seren of the Wildwood (Wiseblood Books, 2023); novel Charis in the World of Wonders (Ignatius Press, 2020); and poetry collection The Book of the Red King (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2019.) www.thepalaceat2.blogspot.com


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The latest addition to the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Database is Rachel Wetzsteon by Patricia Behrens. The Poetry by the Sea Conference is scheduled next year from May 21-24.

Maureen Alsop:I often create visual art as a memorialization to the closure of a written work. However, many of these visual pieces arrived as a trajectory while writing a larger 'work-in-progress.' The text within the visual poems do not speak to the content of the larger work but are autonomous, acting as bridge between the written and visual bodies. The original text draws upon ghosts in the hall of battles. It is a glittering solar analemma, an unattested revolution, an infinity reflected in ellipses, omissions, and disintegration. A full collection representing many of these images came to fruition recently in Tender to Empress (Wet Cement Press). Yet the act of creating from text continues, as the digital collages here also include newer works based on miscellaneous notes, old emails, and most recently a short story, "The Unnamed Woman of Mary River" (forthcoming at South Dakota Review). The title to these are based on cargo ships which I pass on my daily commute from island to mainland. These small cities of people, afloat for weeks on end out at sea, are a looming story that embarks and disembarks in my imagination.

The visual poems are crafted under the mechanics of "Écriture Féminine," literally "women's writing." These principals advance a feminine perspective. I write from parallels, cyclical slips through stream of conscious and fragmentary processes. The writing exists as rough erotic. As talisman. Interpersonal in their ruptures and syntax, soft in their discomforts; a splintered narrative. Through writing, I can go anywhere and never be found.

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