Thursday, May 4, 2017, at 7:00 pm, poets Rebecca Morgan Frank and Henry Lyman will continue the tenth season of the Collected Poets Series. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)
Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of The Spokes of Venus (Carnegie Mellon University Press 2016) and Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon 2012), finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her poems have appeared such places as The New Yorker, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, and Guernica. She is the Jacob Ziskind Poet in Residence at Brandeis University and co-founder and editor-in chief of the online magazine Memorious.
Henry Lyman’s first book-length collection, The Land Has Its Say, was published by Open Field Press in 2015. His work has also appeared in The Nation, New England Watershed, The New York Times, Poetry, and other periodicals. The Elizabeth Press published two books of his translations from the Estonian poetry of Aleksis Rannit. He edited Robert Francis’s new and uncollected poems Late Fire, Late Snow and an anthology of New England poetry, After Frost, both published by The University of Massachusetts Press. From 1976 to 1994 he hosted and produced Poems to a Listener, a nationally distributed radio series of readings and conversation with poets. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
WHAT IS LEFT HERE / Rebecca Morgan Frank
Out in the open, there is a cowshed.
There are the expected gaps and hornets.
Here lives our story, where we used to meet–
You smelled like hay, were always listening
to some other sound, the buzzing of your own
ideas chasing us down. You began building
a staircase out of thorny branches, then a vest
out of found nests. An angel emerged
from bones and wrenches; a vulture out of junkyard
parts flew in the rafters. Soon the shed was full
of your configurations. You made me pose,
sculpted a rusted wire shadow of me. Sometimes
I saw you watching her while kissing me.
I knew: who wouldn’t want to love a mind
like that? I knew: I was part of something.
Now I catalogue your works, care for minutiae
of preservation, communications. Loving you
is never over, even with you gone. You knew
you shaped me here, under gap-leaked light.
Amidst all the other figures of your making.
(First appeared in Ploughshares, previously appeared in The Spokes of Venus [Carnegie Mellon University Press])
SIDE CANYONS / Henry Lyman
Sometimes they reveal
a handprint, child-sized
almost, our shapes being
smaller then, of one of us
beside the same rock wall
that curves along the same
dry creek bed, somebody
whose whim it was to dip
a hand in mud and leave
its image waiting, forever
maybe, for someone else
to lose his way to, pause,
and spreading a hand out
over that gesture feel, within
the last few sunbaked crumbs
of mud, the ghosts of fingertips,
and the want in there, a loneness,
groping, through a thousand years
of mud on stone, for some likeness
in the hand that hovers there a while
as though before a mirror, and draws
itself away again, and waving, fades.