Project Verse: Final Assigment ~ Emily Van Duyne

Emily Van Duyne’s final assigment for Project Verse. Please click here to review the instructions for the final assignment.

POEM #1:
I’m Sorry, Will Roby, or: Why I’m Not a Language Poet

We lost the rubber of a tire
scouting out a pasture where two horses
melt a little every day
            -W.F. Roby 

 Will, I wither straight
to you, from Atlantic City’s glitz, whatever sin
you live in, clammy hole you’ve dug yourself.  If I heard
your wounded hype just right, at the moment you’re haranguing to a tent
of angry, moonshine sipping gypsies on the state
of bullet trains, the M dash, how umbrellas are suspended
in the sky.  Will, I sigh.  Why, Will Roby, why?  If you’ve really
seen a stallion liquefy, I’ll give you each red cent

in my pink wallet, each couplet as they holler
from my mouth.  Here, love, take that
little lyric puff of smoke, the one
where I go down on Bowie, circa ‘85.  I know it’s gauche, but
since you can blow David Bowie in my poem, go on, give
it a try.  He’ll be kind to you, my little W, he’ll stripe
silver shadow down the side of your blue eyes.  After, he’ll treat
you to a coffee, pecan pie— some trash diner down below
14th.  Can’t you hear the F train underneath?   So can I.  Listen,

Will, I’m back, a pretty thief, to steal my poem
from your brink.  If you had kept
these lines, they’d end up in that diner’s kitchen sink, where
there’s a baby turtle race, some hot pink heat,
a caterpillar squawking at the moon (who’s slinked
off from her post to grab a drink) and I don’t think
so, I’ll have none of that.   What’s this need to make the world
do what it can’t?  I’m just like, here’s the earth 

we’re dealt, its one night only! Technicolor glow, look around
you, sweets, it’s the best prime rib you’ll never eat, your one night
stand on that Greek white sand beach, the moon-
light sparking off her caramel tan— why not just call
it like it is?  What’s a little horse sense, struck
between new friends?  & once,
you know, on Valentine’s, an ex & I, we brought
a pineapple to bed.  We were 19, we thought oh, yes,
how erotic, I don’t know why we thought it, guess we both envisioned
its tart dribble down our flawless, baby chins, how its juice would drench
my dorm room’s flannel sheets— sheer
abandon, how delicious!  But, we forgot to buy a knife, back
at the Acme, couldn’t hack inside. & the leaves were tricky
spikes!  That fruit kept us at arm’s length, did we even make
love that day?  I don’t think

we did.  It’s that pineapple that sticks
me in the craw, obtuse & brown.  It would never
make a sound.  Forget the ex, how half the time
he couldn’t get me off, half dozen nudes
he painted of me, silent, staring, in his New York
City loft, below 14th, oh, way below, my dear, we’re talking
Brooklyn, here.  Forget the rendered, faded summer light, orange
on my naked shoulder blades— it makes me yawn.

It’s the fruit we couldn’t crack
that brings it back— his awkward, unrequited love (and unrequited
love can kill you, but he made it through), that’s
the thing, the real, the here & now, that’s my heart-
broke sister out in ‘Frisco, slinging drinks
to pay the bills (she just found out her lover
fucked her best friend, in that bullshit city’s shrouded
hipster hills), it’s the way that words

can do their dirty, honest work— look, they whisper, look,
you blinked, you missed it, summer’s done, the light just switched,
it’s fall.  Wake up, Will Roby, you might miss it all.

Beth Gylys: 
This poem is absolutely a tour de force.  It’s quintessential Emily through and through from the wild imaginative riffs “If you’ve really/seen a stallion liquefy, I’ll give you each red cent// in my pink wallet, eatch couplet as they holler/from my mouth” to the sassy voice: “look around /you, sweets,  it’s the best prime rib you’ll never eat…” to the intense word and sound play: “whatever sin/you live in, clammy hole you’ve dug yourself. If I heard/your wounded hype just right…” I don’t even finally know quite what the poem’s subject is, and I don’t care.  I love it!

Dustin Brookshire:  You took lines from W.F.’s last Project Verse poem to create an epigraph.  I think the poem and epigraph work well together; however, I think the poem needs the epigraph because of lines 7-10.  I would have liked this dependency to be shown in your third poem since that is exactly what the third portion of the final assignment is about.   You work in Kathi’s line nicely.  While I’m not completely sold on this poem, I think you have created a poem to be admired.  I’m sure W.F. is flattered.

Matthew Hittinger: The music of this poem knocked me down with its internal rhyming and chiming, the rhymes folded in and spurring on the rhythm.  Just in the opening stanza you get the short I sounds of “wither / Atlantic City’s glitz / sin / in” and the “hype / right” rhyme and the “sipping gypsies” and “sky / sigh / why / why / liquefy” and so forth to that final “fall / all.”  It’s playful, which matches the spirit and occasion of the poem perfectly, and adds sonic texture to the surface of the lines.  There’s a twist to meeting the assignment, not just working in Kathi’s line in a natural way, but by adding a line break between “unrequited” and “love can kill you” that slight pause in the break speaking volumes about the sentiment behind those words.  The assignment doesn’t specify that the line had to be kept intact as a whole line, so this little tweak was fun and worked well even if from a purist perspective Kathi worked hers in, intact.  The poem is also in nice conversation with poet Will Roby, a fellow Project Verse contestant.  It’s nice to see the PV contestants forming friendships out of this experience.

Guest Judge Shaindel Beers:  “I’m Sorry, Will Roby, or: Why I’m Not a Language Poet” is simply put, a good, strong poem. There is a terrific wealth of specific imagery: “I’ll give you each red cent/in my pink wallet, each couplet as they holler/from my mouth,” a fun, unique use of internal rhyme: “some trash diner down below/14th.  Can’t you hear the F train underneath?,” and is an exciting read. A fun and witty retort in defense of narrative poetry. Bravo, Emily!

 Guest Judge Denise Duhamel:  “I’m Sorry, Will Roby, or: Why I’m Not a Language Poet” is a truly inventive poem.  I admire the hidden but not so subtle rhyming and the far-flung pieces of personal history the poem brings together.  The image of the pineapple, especially, is amazing.  This poem is delightful and meta and full of song.

POEM #2:
Judy Garland Plays a Chelsea Bar for $100 in 1968 

As soon as
I’m done with this one, boys, I’ll need
another.  I know, I know, glory hallelujah
and all that.  Do you know about my mother?  No!
Well, sit back, little darlings, hold on
to your feathered, leather hats.  What a night-
mare, she was, what a hitch!  She couldn’t cook, she
wouldn’t clean, she couldn’t stitch, she made
off with the neighbor lady’s man, she left
my father dropping heavy tears into an iron pan
of skillet cornbread.  No, I swear it, loves,
she even swindled Mr. Mayer.  Oh, but, come, let’s
sing, you’ll sing with me, yes?  Applause, applause,

 it acts just like a tonic, oh my, boys, I’m onto
you… you’ll keep me hanging round
all night, I know your game, and I should say— I really
only do one tune, the rest all fade
to gray—they cower in the corners
of the screen, they’re trapped in central casting, oh,
but this one, oh, but this, oh, babies this belongs
to me, they’ll tattoo this one
to my slinky grave.  You know, the night
is bitter, (yes, you know) but those swank stars—I see
them now, cracked foil glued to my black
dressing door, backstage, come by for one more drink
when we’ve wrapped up— those stars will never lose
their glitter, though they may get
stranded on 8th avenue, a taxi rolling by.  I’ll sing
straight through the gutter, sing for anyone,
for free, just clap & I’ll go on— my father’s whispers
Baby, it’s all you, straight to my pretty ear, he worries
for me each time I go on, just like he did when I three
and crooning Jingle Bells in Grand Rapids, that I
will crash and fall and cry—but then Judy
comes alive—when he
saw her, he knew that this wouldn’t happen.

Beth Gylys:
  Ah, this is a disappointment after that first poem.  The voice of this poem isn’t all that compelling to me.  Partly it’s that the character is tired, so the voice feels tired and maybe as a result, not especially convincing either.  I do love “she left/my father dropping heavy tears into an iron pan/of skillet cornbread.”  The end’s a little confusing to me though.  The use of ‘her’ is introduced so abruptly it throws me out of the poem.  I don’t know quite how to contextualize that pronoun, but I might be being daft…..

Dustin Brookshire:  I think this is my least favorite of your five poems.  I did really enjoy a couple of parts “she/wouldn’t clean, she couldn’t stitch, she made/off with the neighbor’s lady man” and “cracked foil glued to my black/dressing door.”  But, then there is the ending of this poem—-the switch from first to third— I don’t think it works at all.  I have to confess that you picked the line Kathi originally used back in week five.

Matthew Hittinger:  Given the prompt I like where the imagination went in this poem, making a dramatic monologue in Judy Garland’s voice.  I think Judy’s voice is great throughout, but that weird shift to the third person at the end threw me out of the poem a bit.  I kept trying to read it as Judy talking about herself in the third person, but it just didn’t fully convince me.  I don’t think you intended this, but it feels like the sudden presence of a speaker narrating where there was none before.  Perhaps this was just brought on by the demands of the prompt since the line is written in third personI think there are ways you could nudge it there, maybe with some stuttering doubling; I inserted a “but then I, Judy, come alive” or a “but then I–but then Judy comes alive” or “when he saw me, when he saw her, he knew that this wouldn’t happen” or something to that effect where the reader is given a cue that she’s shifting to third person.  Perhaps that’s just my interpretation, seeing you mark a difference between private Judy and public performer Judy.  Again your fine ear is displayed here: “feathered, leather hats” and lines like “I know your game, and I should say–I really / only do one tune, the rest all fade / to gray–“ are golden.  Great authority behind her imagined voice here–you do well in the dramatic monologue form.  Playful diva, working the crowd.  My only other quibble is that short first line.  It bothers me by where you chose to break: the line doesn’t carry much weight, not only for a line but especially for an opening line, and given how long all the other lines are it stands out, and not in a good way.  Otherwise a fine poem.

Shaindel Beers:  In “Judy Garland Plays a Chelsea Bar for $100 in 1968,” Emily Van Duyne captures the voice of Judy Garland perfectly. One can just imagine Judy Garland saying all of this. It is a really remarkably beautiful persona poem. And the skill with which she brings that poem around, completing the split sentence of the assignment, is breathtaking.

Guest Judge Denise Duhamel:  “Judy Garland Plays a Chelsea Bar for $100 in 1968” is a wonderful voice poem–authentic in its tone and history.  The persona’s straight talk sass is just what is called for in such a poem.  The ending is poignant without being camp.  A very sensitive voice here.

POEM #3:
Stiletto: A Love Song

‘The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.’
            -Naomi Shihab Nye

I must have looked
a fright, a wild woman, fashionista
Cathy Earnshaw stalking down
that barren hill: one faux leopard
clutch, one mini-skirt, two brilliant ruby
heels— leather redder than a fire
truck & edged in hot gold tongues `       `          
of bitchy flame.  One hundred bucks
too much, but I was 20, what
the fuck.  I was in love
with love.  Where was I?

Buchenwald (a granite hell, a pit), in early spring.
Suddenly, an icy wind shit-kicked
my fur coat open, shocked my sleek
black bangs out from my eyes.  Then, the looming

sign: Krematorium.  Prussian
silt dredged from my mind’s sore throat, the K
& r a gravel echo I’ve heard every
goddamn day since that cold March.
And if you tell me, now, I should
have wept or knelt or worn fleece
insulated waders, should have snapped

a photo of the Zerlegungs-Raum
(rusted scalpels, tweezers trapped
behind smudged glass— cool white tiles that once ran
hot with blood), I’ll have you know— Princess

Mafalda of Savoy, who Hitler called the blackest
carrion of the Italian Royal house, whose arms

(& didn’t they once they carry clanging white
gold bangles, gifts from Alfonso XIII?)

 were crushed, & then cut off (an Allied air
raid, 1944), breathed her last
in that same, stark Dissection
Room.  I could tell you how she fought
against the Reich, fought to save
her babies, died alone & starving like
the rest— how Buchenwald

means beech forest, how those peeling
damsels shot straight
for the famished, steely sky.  But,
I’ll never pen a poem to a tree.  I’m sick
to death of muddy psalms
of praise for some dumb earth
that won’t sing back.  That night,
I bawled alone in my hotel, recalled
that little English girl, turning perfect
pirouettes on the chill floor, her mother hissing, Don’t,
it’s not nice, don’t.  But I wish

that someone, sometime, dances|
on my grave in Mary Janes.
I stomped back up
that hill, stilettos sinking
in the dirt, then rising up.  Princess,
if you heard, I hope
their clatter was a beautiful distraction
from the brutal thud of boots.  I tap
this Valentine to you, from my cherry
Smith-Corona, in my coal black, sling back
mules, my husband’s Oxford shirt, — here is
love, two spiky heels that click and clack
across this earth, to pierce your gutsy heart. 

Beth Gylys: 
There’s so much to love about this one (not, mind you “I was in love/with love–a little over-familiar and SO not like Emily), but on the other hand, the self description of the speaker “Cathy Earnshaw stalking down/that barren hill: one faux leopard/clutch, one mini-skirt….” is fabulous, and the communal guilt that the poem tackles works really beautifully. The poem’s ambitious, and for me explores familiar territory in unfamiliar ways: the discussion of Mafalda, the odd defiance the speaker feels, coupled with her utter grief (written in such a way that it almost seems like even she is mystified by it.  All of this seems to me rich and beautifully executed.

Dustin Brookshire:  While the epigraph was your on-ramp, this poem doesn’t need the epigraph.  This poem can easily stand alone.  This is a lovely poem, Emily.  For some reason or another, I didn’t feel like I had been dipped in the lake of Van Duyne.  Well, this poem didn’t dip me in the lake, it dunked me.  This poem is breath taking.  We have Buchenwald, Mafalda, stilettos, Mary Janes, and boots all in one poem.  What a way to end a poem: “—here is/love, two spiky heels that click and clack/across this earth, to pierce your gutsy heart.”  Bravo.

Matthew Hittinger:  Again, blown away by the music.  I found myself reading it out loud just to hear how it sliced the air.  First to the prompt’s expectations: perfectly met.  The narrative you conjure based on the epigraph is compelling and takes the reader on a metaphoric walk in those red stilettos.  Which is to say I like the distance the speaker has looking back at herself, showing us the before self down to every last superficial detail of dress and accessory and then juxtaposing that surface presentation and get-up to visit the Buchenwald concentration camp.  The speaker addresses her detractors who may be thinking a different get-up or response would have been more appropriate by conjuring Princess Mafalda, held in that camp whose arms were severely burned by an allied raid and then amputated before she died there.  The authority and self-awareness present behind the voice here really struck me: “I’ll never pen a poem to a tree.  I’m sick / to death of muddy psalms / of praise for some dumb earth / that won’t sing back.”  The stakes are high, the speaker unabashed, even defiant in the face of what is deemed proper” or expected.  And that last stanza, where all the shoes come together–Mary Janes, the red stilettos, army boots, mules–which forges this connection across space and time to Mafalda.  And the gut-punch of those last lines, or should I say heart pierce–bravo.  This is hands-down one of my favorites of the season.

Shaindel Beers:  Emily’s third poem, “Stiletto: A Love Song,” is a tour de force. It might be the strongest poem in this set. Again, she has a way of combining information and images and moving a poem that is amazing:

 — how Buchenwald

means beech forest, how those peeling
damsels shot straight
for the famished, steely sky.  But,
I’ll never pen a poem to a tree.  I’m sick
to death of muddy psalms
of praise for some dumb earth
that won’t sing back. 

This poem was everything a poem should be—powerful, educational, beautiful, and heart-breaking.

Guest Judge Denise Duhamel:  “Stiletto: A Love Song” manages to connect the sadism of high heels with young love, travel, and history.  The poem is gutsy in its leaps, with the near perfect ending of the typewriter clacking under the fingers (nail polished?) of the speaker.  This poem explores what it is to be a woman writer–the surface and the passion underneath.  The end “stomps” in its honesty.


POEM #4:
Kinesis, Or, At 58, My Mother Learns to Surf

            We all have reasons for moving.
                                     -Mark Strand

 Six times I’ve failed to write this, properly— it was Fifth
Avenue, at Christmastime, 2001— the frigid city smoldered,
still.  I didn’t understand my mother, yet— she snubbed
the subway, checkered cabs, force marched her daughters
forty-something downtown city blocks to Port
Authority, uh-uh, no, now, c’mon, almost there.  I think I called her
nuts, unhinged, her stride a psycho figure
skater’s spin, I thought she moved like that to blister out
the dead: that, somehow, moving screened her from their faces, always
swimming in her beautiful, blond head.  Her own mother, gone
at 58— the Lucky Strikes, the gin.  Her father at his end, his mottled skin,
the raspy hole they cut into his throat.  Look, though, now I’m prey
to those same traps.  That cold Manhattan
night, we tagged behind her like a cranky, Hamelin
pack.  & although twelve blocks in, I balked & stripped
my kitten heels to stalk the New York blocks in stocking feet, though
I whispered to my sister, I bet Mom polishes the silver while we sleep, I
followed her so far, I ended up back home: this barrier
island, gritty beach, salt Atlantic Ocean that my mother paddles
into: she is always just beyond my reach.  There’s a hurricane off-shore.  My father’s
reading Gatsby for the first time in his life.  My mother carves
the water like a knife.  I’ll never understand, I spoke
too soon.  The summer wanes, back-lit— a dream, a quarter moon.

Beth Gylys: 
The poem has some beautiful and poignant language i.e. “I thought she moved like that the blister out/the dead”  and that the mother’s character is fairly well drawn: her fierce determination and independence, her intensity….The one place I trip in the poem is at the end.  When the poem shifts to “I ended up back home” I’m a tad confused where home is, confused too about the water.  I think the poem’s close, but needs to be fleshed out a tad more in that final segment.   The last image is beautiful.

Dustin Brookshire:  I think you had an epigrpah fetish with the final assignment.  Another poem that I really like!  Some of my favorite parts include “I didn’t understand my mother, yet–she snubbed/the subway, checkered cabs” and “I thought she moved like that to blist out/the dead” and “we tagged behind her like a cranky, Hamelin/pack.”  Going back to the first part that I quoted—some people think it is small—but I am in love with the line having “yet” in it.  Good job.

Matthew Hittinger:  Great title.  I like your spin on the prompt’s demands and how you interpreted the abstract component.  The poem has a nice layering–the opening admission of the drafting process, the attempts to tell the story create a palimpsest throughout as you try for a sixth time and give glimpses of what you said before: “I think I called her / nuts, unhinged, her stride a psycho figure / skater’s spin” and the ultimate revision “I’ll never understand, I spoke / too soon” to the earlier “I didn’t understand my mother, yet” as the speaker confronts how she falls short of fully understanding her parents, in particular her mother who “carves / the water like a knife” surfing for the first time at 58, while her father, presumably also in his later years reads “Gatsby for the first time in his life.”  That rhyme of “life/knife” does what a good rhyme should: it connects her parents not just sonically but semantically.  Same goes for that final rhyme of “soon/moon” (I noticed you like to embed rhyme, rhyming a word early on in a line with the final word of the line–it works well for you).  There’s much more one could say about movement and change and the mystery of it all in the end of a season and the phases of the moon and how all that reinforces this slippery act of trying to fully understand a parent, or any loved one.  It’s a great poem and its details and framing and its reach back into memory while moving forward to the present not only makes for a great poem but exceeds the prompt’s expectations.

Shaindel Beers:  Emily’s “Kinesis, Or, At 58,” My Mother Learns to Surf is a poem which shows tremendous emotional growth from beginning to end. Again, Emily Van Duyne is a master of images: “My mother carves/the water like a knife.  I’ll never understand, I spoke/too soon.  The summer wanes, back-lit— a dream, a quarter moon.” Just beautiful work, once again.

Guest Judge Denise Duhamel:  “Kinesis, Or, At 58, My Mother Learns to Surf”–once again, the shoes!  The characters in this poem are charming and surprising.  The “journey” of the poem in time and space (childhood, adulthood, Manhattan, the sea) is   powerful and earned.  The “rebirth” of the parents (mother surfing, father reading The Great Gatsby for the first time) is an ode to middle-age wisdom.  This is a tight, well-made poem.


POEM #5:
I Blame the Ronettes

I started writing
poetry when I found out— wait.  Stop.  I can’t

use that line— I started writing?— no.  I hate
that sad-sack bumpkin passive croak, gerund
lazing in its belly’s bloat, a blood
drunk picnic fly.  & I, love, I

will never start a poem with a sigh.  Listen—
that’s my heart’s hot stutter— a boy invites
his first girl to the dance— my heart is shacked
up with my tongue, their boudoir walls

 are painted red & black.  This is my torch
song, stage to stalk, white gardenia already gone
dark around its paper edge, tucked behind my diamond
studded ear, my throaty lark, my snare

drum wrapped in cotton wool, tambourine to shake
your patent leather party flats.  & if you want
a cliff to leap from, honey, I can grant you that—look,
your raven hair (what raven hair?)  two steps

on the ancient, Grecian air… Oh, no
it’s really happening, oh, yes, I wanna
be another woman, just this once, I’ll go
down South to 1963, where there’s a dance hall

& a jukebox & a weedy boy with glasses
& a drawl & he just hooked
his hand in my back pocket, oh, it’s tricky,
baby, here’s where it could fall

apart.  Every time that dance hall steals
its way into this song, the record scratches, skips
& then I’m back to my insipid, bare bones
start.  Desire.  & desire & again.  When I found

out, when I found out, when I found
& you were there, & you, & my mother’s
in there, too, I’ll never be the beauty
she is, never have that voice, its hot sweet

shot of honey Scotch, never win my father’s
absolute ardor.  If I make it back
to 1963, then I know— my mother beat
me to it, look, she’s oh-so-cool, sipping whiskey 

with two cubes.  She just jumped on
the table in her wiggle dress, electric
blue, her figure eight hips cha-cha, twist & switch.  My moon-
faced fellow wolf-whistles & stares.  & there

I go again, I can’t shut-up.  Today, I woke
& knew—my faded heart had switched
back on, a hot pink neon
light.  OPEN

it buzzes, in perpetual midnight while those three
girls (oh lined black eyes, oh sweet beehives) heave
& sigh, c’mon & please, be my baby, say you’ll be
my darling, oh just this once, I swear it, just give in.

Beth Gylys: 
This last one so resists the prompt that I’m convinced by the end it has to go.  I’d really consider starting the poem with “Listen–/that’s my heart’s hot stutter…”  I am intrigued by the speaker going back to her parent’s courtship and comparing herself to her mother.  I’m much less interested in what began the poem, the “I started writing” etc, which enters the poem again a little more interestingly with: “When I found out”…   I’d say Emily should re-work this one, working the original line out of the next draft, just to see what happens.

Dustin Brookshire:   Another poem that I’m not sold on.  I think this poem has great potential, and I think you get this poem to where it could be.  I think this poem didn’t want anything to do with the prompt.

Matthew Hittinger:  Fun title.  Love the opening and how you do what the prompt asks and then promptly undercut it not only by calling it into question, but by doing so with such playful and acidic music “that sad-sack bumpkin passive croak, gerund / lazing in its belly bloat…”  It brought a smile to my lips in that good-subversive way in which poetry can operate.  This poem continues the great music you can squeeze out of a line, and just to track one occurrence of it: “I’ll/hall/drawl/fall/hall.”  The poem expands in many directions and yet never flies off its axis, the speaker in tight control from that shift in time where a song can transport you back, “I’ll go / down South to 1963” and where you bring that back later with your mother who beats you to it, to the record scratch and the tight rhythm of “skips / & then I’m back to my insipid, bare bones / start.  Desire.  & desire & again.  When I found // out, when I found out, when I found / & you were there, & you, & my mother’s / in there, too” the lines literally skipping like the lyrics skip on the scratched record, and the riffing off lines from the Wizard of Oz.  Lines like “& there / I go again, I can’t shut-up” exercise control over the fast-paced images tumbling at us.  Again great skill and mastery of the poetic line displayed here.

Shaindel Beers:  “I Blame the Ronettes” is another fabulous poem by Emily Van Duyne. Granted, the beginning is awkward. It seems that Van Duyne had trouble working with the prompt, but the poem soon takes off with her usual adeptness with image and movement:


.  Listen—
that’s my heart’s hot stutter— a boy invites
his first girl to the dance— my heart is shacked
up with my tongue, their boudoir walls

are painted red & black.  This is my torch
song, stage to stalk, white gardenia already gone
dark around its paper edge, tucked behind my diamond
studded ear, my throaty lark, my snare

drum wrapped in cotton wool, tambourine to shake
your patent leather party flats.

Beautiful work!

Guest Judge Denise Duhamel:  “I Blame the Ronettes” is a pop culture marvel, the touchstone of the girl group a way to re-imagine her speaker’s parents meeting.  The voice her is both nostalgic and calculating.  The re-envisioning of her parents’ meeting, the Electra complex, and the honky tonk all make for a romp of a poem.  “The belly’s bloat” is a nice set up to the eventual conception of the speaker.


15 responses to “Project Verse: Final Assigment ~ Emily Van Duyne

  1. OK. I am going nuts I can’t imagine what you must be going through! Don’t they know that people out here are waiting to here about my daughter-in-law!

  2. The poetess was obviously raised on Bruce Springsteen, salt water, and lipstick. I whole-heartedly approve. More poems, please. More stories.

  3. Pingback: Project Verse: The End! « I Was Born Doing Reference Work in Sin

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