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?

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corridor. I stayed there until the strayed woman died and had to push against the tide of everyone who was then exiting the theater to get my bag out from under the seat that had been in front of me. I might be confusing this part with a flight I once took that made an emergency landing back at the same airport I departed from. I love you. Do you love me? It will be hard for you. Everything Goes. I saw that at the Vivian Beaumont across the plaza from the opera house the day a

Poetry, Rescue Press, for including “H1N1.” “The Mountain Lion” is the basis of the short film DARPA Grand Challenge, by Nick Twemlow, streaming at TriQuarterly. “H1N1” quotes some of the words and music of Time for Bed, by Mem Fox. “Fourth of July, 2012” responds to the discovery at CERN of the so-called God particle on that day. I am grateful to the Brown Foundation Fellows Program at the Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, France. Deep gratitude to the dear friends who patiently thought these

only friend my father had, who upended it in calm didactic sea- showmanship ennobled by indifferent mercy so out could swim a still-living meal of three black pink backlit shrimp before returning them all in one hand to the depths of the reuptaking Sandy Hook Bay. In the flashing grid of shadow cast by rigs passing over the slatted bridge under which we’d anchored, the bottom-feeder and the very bottom are still pulsing on the bow of My Compassion, a transparent craft I steer in

enough anyway, my mother had said. And so I had. Saying “had had” like that reminds me to recount to you how it was I was led to miscount my fingers: You’ll remember my mother counting two tribes of Indians on one of my hands so won’t be surprised to learn she tricked me by by- passing the pinky on the second pass. As a child I invented an internal system I called to with my invoice whereby I organized my time-sensitive material according to the future date on which action is

when it’s still so bright outside. What’s in the mother’s nightstand? Jill and I take it out every weekend when the kids are sleeping and poke at it like a dead animal with the dull golf pencil the mother underlines programs with in the TV Guide. She watches Falcon Crest and then I guess she goes to sleep. Who could possibly dream in this heat? The oscillating fan makes it sound like we’re always on a runway and just freezes the sweat to our faces, and each bead on the children’s

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