A Woman of Property (Penguin Poets)

A Woman of Property (Penguin Poets)

Robyn Schiff

Language: English

Pages: 33

ISBN: 0143128272

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A new book from a poet whose work is "wild with imagination, unafraid, ambitious, inventive" (Jorie Graham)

Located in a menacing, gothic landscape, the poems that comprise A Woman of Property draw formal and imaginative boundaries against boundless mortal threat, but as all borders are vulnerable, this ominous collection ultimately stages an urgent and deeply imperiled boundary dispute where haunting, illusion, the presence of the past, and disembodied voices only further unsettle questions of material and spiritual possession. This is a theatrical book of dilapidated houses and overgrown gardens, of passageways and thresholds, edges, prosceniums, unearthings, and root systems. The unstable property lines here rove from heaven to hell, troubling proportion and upsetting propriety in the name of unfathomable propagation. Are all the gates in this book folly? Are the walls too easily scaled to hold anything back or impose self-confinement? What won't a poem do to get to the other side?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the block; the ax; the altar; the kid. This wasn’t here when I put the chair down last week, a delivery man said of a screw he found beneath the skirt, lifting up the chair to replace it the second time. The chair rejected it when you rocked the baby, didn’t it? That’s the turn of the screw in the other direction. I hear the loosening of an elemental hinge. I feel the torque spinning in reverse up a helical ridge. A pair of deliverymen had let them- selves in, while I was sleeping,

the centennial lead water pipes the whole stockpile leans against that run brown water like the internal bleeding of a vendetta.   What did you add to it?   Last night I propped an empty poster frame and brittle sheet of glass that fell suddenly from the nursery wall that had contained a rhyme I nailed too crudely, now I understand, in the lath and plaster, which couldn’t bear the pounding I gave it and in retrospect should have been first entered with a delicate bit. The rhyme

once: Since you have the same number on each, let’s just count one hand twice. Understand? Yes. We proceeded to count off aloud together each time she touched the tip of one of my fingers with her own index. I was six and knew how many of every thing I had; I had a feeling I was born with that I descended from a line of counting house witnesses and already knew how to keep a secret and a list, yet my little hand shook in my mother’s hand as much as it had when she once used her

once: Since you have the same number on each, let’s just count one hand twice. Understand? Yes. We proceeded to count off aloud together each time she touched the tip of one of my fingers with her own index. I was six and knew how many of every thing I had; I had a feeling I was born with that I descended from a line of counting house witnesses and already knew how to keep a secret and a list, yet my little hand shook in my mother’s hand as much as it had when she once used her

most. And it’s not just speed that’s dangerous. So many weavers die of inhalational anthrax your street name is woolsorter’s disease, contracted by weavers as you waft dreaming off the soft yarn and awaken furiously germinating in the fell manner I can only imagine I’ve seen mayflies mating in swarms but this seething is nothing like coupling and takes more than seeing to envision wilding, outnumbering, uncontainable, uncontainable, uncontainable, uncontainable,

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