Please join us on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 7:00pm, when poets Amanda Auchter and Andrea Cohen will continue our sixth season. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)
Amanda Auchter is the author of The Wishing Tomb, winner of the 2012 Perugia Press Prize, The Glass Crib, winner of the 2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award, and the chapbook, Light Under Skin. She is the founding editor of
Pebble Lake Review, and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She teaches creative writing and literature at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas.
Andrea Cohen is the author of the poetry collections Kentucky Derby (Salmon Poetry 2011), Long Division (Salmon Poetry 2009), and The Cartographer’s Vacation (Owl Creek Press 1999) Her fourth collection, Furs Not Mine, will be published by Four Way Books. Her poems and stories have appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, The Hudson Review, and elsewhere. She has received a PEN Discovery Award, Glimmer Train‘s Short Fiction Award, the Owl Creek Poetry Prize and the Massachusettes Book Award. She directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, MA.
NEW ORLEANS SNOW GLOBE / Amanda Auchter
Inside the ceramic city, a man
decants a few notes on a sax
under the black and white
Bourbon Street sign. Miniature
tourists eat lemon ices, stir
cream into chicory coffee
in Jackson Square. Because it is Christmas,
wreaths hang from St. Louis Cathedral
and an alligator wearing a Santa suit
waves and waves through the dome’s
clear glass. Inside the Dome,
all of the lights are out. Every window
black, empty. Inside the glass,
the dome has gone dry. It is unclear
how much time this takes
or how it happens. It is Christmas here
and the water has released the city—
landlocked the paddleboat, the alligator—
into air, its residue, its white debris.
from The Wishing Tomb (Perugia Press © 2012)
BUTTER / Andrea Cohen
I’ve never seen the land
of milk and honey, but once,
at the Iowa State Fair, I glimpsed
a cow fashioned of butter.
It lived behind a window
in an icy room, beneath klieg lights.
I filed past as one files
past a casket at a wake.
It was that sad: a butter cow
without a butter calf. Nearby I spied
a butter motorcycle, motorcycle-
sized, a mechanical afterthought
I thought the cow might have liked to ride.
You don’t drive a motorcycle; you ride it.
But not if you’re a butter cow, not
if you’re a butter cow who’s seen, if
not the land of milk and honey, the land
of milk, and dwelled within it.
It had a short life span, the butter cow.
Before it died, I looked
deep into its butter eyes. It saw
my butter soul. I could
have wept, or spread myself ,
for nobody, across dry toast.
from Kentucky Derby (Salmon Poetry © 2011)