Saturday, October 4, 2014

Three Poems from Joan Colby

Broke -- 2

Faultline where the crack was mended
Devalues the vase on Antique
Roadshow.  If only some careless
Ancestor or maybe you, yourself
Had not allowed that slip of hand;
Irremediable loss.  Then blame,
That holy glue suggests
A good-as-new deception.
You blink the barely visible
Damage.  White line where the scrutiny
Of an expert in breakage
Will not be denied.  Incurable
As heartache.  This heirloom.  This
Imperfection.  How the worth
Of anything involves condition.

Broke -- 5 -- Break Dancing

The body sheds
Discursive plaints, to embrace
Chaos.  The backward flip
Into the text of revolution.
Spin and twirl, out of sync
With measured steps.
The flailing limbs induce
Discord and joy,
Spell what the body can dispose:
Clause, comma, semi-colon.
The crooked delight
Of question mark,
Exclamation point.

Broke -- 11 -- Broken Pediment

The mahogany china cabinet,
Its burden of ruby goblets.
Gold scalloped dishes from a lost century,
An alphabet mug from which
Five generations of children
Gulped sweet milk.

Remembering how it stood
In her proper dining room
Before age broke her
Into a comma curled in a cot.

When we were asked to choose,
This is what we took.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner.  Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature.  She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009,2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008,2010).  One of her poems is a winner of the 2014 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest.  She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois.  She has published 14 books including, Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press.  Selected Poems received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize.  Properties of Matter from Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books), Bittersweet from Main Street Rag Press, and The Wingback Chair from FutureCycle Press.  Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.

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