To start off our poetry celebration, Idra Novey shares the poem "Aspect" from her book EXIT, CIVILIAN (April 2012, pg. 13).
For the aunt who only ate sugar packets from Applebee's,
we say poor Fay,
who didn't age well.
For the uncle who overdosed on stolen pills, we talk
of good Jerome,
who had too much sorrow.
Of the speeding tickets my father doesn't pay, he says honey,
out of state
may as well be fable.
About the night my mother spent in jail, we say nothing; once
my grandmother said imagine,
your pantyhose stripped in a hallway.
Of the fumbling years, all the waiting for her to look up again,
I say the rub
of my childhood, the thistle.
About the Poem
"Aspect" was one of the first poems I wrote for the book that would become EXIT, CIVILIAN. It took me two years to finish this poem, but once I did other poems came more quickly. I find certain poems are like that. They are keys and it takes incredibly long to get the grooves in them just right. Once that key poem is finished, however, you can get into the castle up into the turrets where all the other poems have been locked away and await their release.
About the Poet
Idra Novey is the author of The Next Country and has received awards from the Poetry Society of America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the PEN Translation Fund. Her translations include Clarice Lispector’s The Passion According to G.H. (New Directions, 2012). She has taught in the Bard College Prison Initiative and in Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
For more information about National Poetry month, visit www.poets.org. For more poetry from the UGA Press, visit the poetry section of our website here.