The book, Eva-Mary [811 MCC], revealed to me that Linda McCarriston was a poet of some renown--the cover of Eva-Mary sports a National Book Award Finalist silver sticker. Like a curious crow, I am attracted by shiny things!
Whoa! The poems inside are not cool and shiny--they are hot--they don't shine, they blaze. I'll only share the first stanza from this one, called "Hotel Nights with My Mother":
The hometown flophouseIf you want to read the rest, come down to the library and borrow the book (I'm sorry I couldn't find a copy online).
was what she could afford
the nights he came after us
with a knife. I'd grab my books,
already dreading the next day's
explanations of homework undone
--I ran out of paper--the lies
I'd invent standing in front of
the nuns in clothes I'd lain in
full-bladdered all night, a flimsy
chair-braced door between us
and the hallway's impersonal riot.
I'm glad I looked inside Eve-Mary, it reminded me, once again, to view people with a more sympathetic eye--you never know what's going on in their lives.
McCarriston was interviewed by Bill Moyers back in 2002. The transcript can be found here.
The Poetry Friday Round-Up this week is being hosted at one of my favorite blogs, The Miss Rumphius Effect. Be sure to check it out!