Featured image by Laurie Rollins Anderson. It was taken at the Crown, February 2016, Linda Campbell Franklin’s 75th birthday party.
Megan: Here’s three from a batch with the working title “Ungoverned Interludes,” an allusion to both the recently hijacked government and the timeless autonomous zone staked out by writing. Heroes of the ungoverned, Mole Suit Choir, made a song of “Nutlike Fortune,” and “Dear Bernadette” pays homage to the ever-ungoverned Bernadette Meyer.
Mole Suit Choir: We are longtime fans of Megan McShea’s poetry & as soon as the words nutlike fortune passed our eyes they came out the song machine, for it speaks in our language.
Nut-like fortune hugged aloud, spun up atop a navigation aura. A pit sticks in the goo you slither through to get to me. The rest stop sand pit frogs sound out when you arrive, and you arch your spine. You touch your full breast to available light, and you mind, I know you mind, and with your plod sockets, you auger our toady nest. My eyes need oiled for our ferret-like movements through the wander froth. Your wart needs lit to get by. We’ll after pond together, we dream. In our luxury nugget.
yes you slept long and
was all you needed all along
an hour of quiet
to read in small stints of mind sugar
feeling its pins in the joints of the wrist
and lower spine
sure to fret about collapsing
but not to collapse
sure to beach one’s idea of abundance
to sacrifice much for the pleasure of doing so, and so
from this disabling retinue
turn absolutely away
give nothing, give up nothing
Runoff falls in steady tympani. But no, that’s thunder rumbling, and my superfluous associations. One saying goes “blunder or blather, all will asunder” and it means something you wish you could stop experiencing. Hiding on top of things is an old strategy I forgot about because there is no door to my current roof. But one day some new perch will let me gaze out again over expanses I thought I understood all those years but now in retrospect I see I did not.
I got called up to eulogize the dictionary. I lugged it out. I said, Whereas in its defined scope, plans herein were so scuttled by my grunting sob noises, no rudder could right it and build what we all agreed was needed here. Wish you still knew our old song, lady, but I am with you, forgetting.
I never feared being less than I had hoped to be, the dim kitchen at dusk, sods and britches. But read again in the sleepy conditions of morning, our quivering attention got some traction in your slight smile as you faced the sun and shrugged, your shaggy tresses falling against your cheek, neck, and forehead like lovers.
So my belief was fluid but I could still go, keep going. Foot by foot. A plan with bleach even though you know how bad bleach is. A plan with fair access to joy, like, you know I could use some of that, but then maybe that’s the big surprise. What if we conquer death and I conquer sorrow? But all I thought we were doing was conquering death and even that I was sure would fail like it has always been failing. Still, the sun today, revs our swells.