Hook: she’s back in town after spending
the last several centuries in the form
of endless sand. Turns out everyone wishes
they’d hurt her when she was young and sprawled
in the grass. Brave insights here into the violence
latent in all sexual encounters. She buys the local
lunch spot, and one night at the drive-in,
they get their chance. Opening: Northburg, 2000.
As they clap for their sons spitting into the dust of the dry
August field, nobody sees the blood on their hands.
Except she has sun-struck tentacles and her eyes
are a rare type of wings. New opening: Fairytale 2000.
Everyone in Glorywood has a slight fever. Except of course
the tentacles are toxic to asthmatic children
and aren’t real: Sharon Brugler had a doctor’s appointment
at noon that she didn’t want her husband Hal to know about.
Followed by 7 pages of circular logic about horse evolution.
Incident involving the 1950’s, wholeness, mathematics,
and the lines of a wingback chair. The sun is closer
on Borgonia which means no mirrors. She has no idea
she’s beautiful until either her half brother touches her
or she kills someone and confronts her image as she wades
into the sick, sick water, implicating no less than
the earth itself. Many allusions. A passage connecting
a series of goat sacrifices in ancient Greece to the way she feels
about the light catching her hairbrush. Her sisters think
they know everything and represent systems theory.
Everyone is diagnosed with serious history. When she says “Jared”
it represents America. The characters meet each other near the end
in tiny boats in the middle of the ocean. Each has one part
of an oar. Imagery throughout of fish hooks and tiny soaps.
Repeated but subtle mentions of the gills of the devil. The world,
recognizable even under the thick layer of gelatin,
hovers inches away too repulsive to be touched.
Catie Rosemurgy lives in Philadelphia and teaches at The College of New Jersey. Her second poetry collection, The Stranger Manual, is forthcoming.