Tuesday, September 14, 2021

CLAIRE MCQUERRY—"TAKING IT" (Issue 22)

TAKING IT

My friend sends an email linked to news
about women freezing their eggs—
as early as possible in their 30s,
she says. My fiancé is on the phone
with “his” jeweler about Christmas diamonds.
I don’t like diamonds, the way they look
obligatory and mean. My eggs, I’m told,
degrade a little more each year. There’s
a surgical mesh—I don’t quite understand this—
I could have implanted in my breasts,
“to give them a natural lift again,” to make me
look like a woman whose eggs are still intact,
who men still want. I read this in an in-flight
magazine. “You know how women over 40
are invisible,” says the man ahead of me
in the grocery line. “I don’t have any problem
getting laid. She’s gonna know she screwed up
real soon though, my ex.” Snow comes
early this year and turns the roads to diamond
lacquer. My affianced canceled his flight
for uncertain reasons, and I might brave the drive
to my parents’. I remember when Thanksgiving
was fleece by a fire. We’d ice cookies
and decorate a tree. At 16, ferrying
deviled eggs on a cut-glass plate,
I overheard grandmother telling mother
I had a nice figure—my breasts, then,
in no need of mesh. Still, the feeling wasn’t
gladness but shame. “If I come out, you’ll only
start a fight,” the fiancé says because I am,
like the rest of my sex, irrational, though
on the upside, I know how to bake a pie
and I like, he says with certainty,
cleaning things. “Your house is always
so clean.” I hate to clean, just less
than I hate a mess. The line between
when he means it and when he’s goading
often erodes. Snow keeps sifting through
the streetlights like static, like the silver
notes of an oboe. It’s true I’ve wanted
a wedding, photogenic with tea lights,
a real band. It’s true the venue’s already
booked. Of my one book, the older
male writer said, “It’s too feminine—
the title and also that dress on your cover.”
The woman’s body, her diamonds,
the gown, an embarrassment
of curves and froth. “Emotional,”
the fiancé says. “You get emotional.”
I froth yes, in flounces of poems. It’s true
mom taught me how to make sauces,
true she taught me how to just take it.
It’s true I’ve already tasted the cake
and found it much too sad.

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Claire McQuerry’s poetry collection Lacemakers (Southern Illinois University Press) won the Crab Orchard First Book Prize, and her poems have appeared in Tin House, Waxwing, Poetry Northwest, American Literary Review, and other journals. She is an assistant professor at Bradley University.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

KATE NORTHROP—"MAYBE I AM HERE" (Issue 22)

MAYBE I AM HERE

and there you are, sort of, like a row of trophies seen through a
picture window, very green-gold, but anymore, Lemon Drop, I am
not a woman who can sleep with whomever she wants. In the house

my skin jitters, a wind picked up across a lake, and I keep opening
windows  hello? hello?  but the sun just sticks, lozenged in trees
wind-stripped.  Some days, things

look strangely: a single shoe on the sidewalk or a pot, in sunlight,
on a stoop.  Some days nothing will jimmy the vision.  Pop-Tart,
what I’m trying to say is I saw mountains in the rearview too, I saw
the girl running into the street.  Nightly, headlights move across the
neighbor’s field, empty as a nightgown, or they hover, like someone
standing with a set of keys.

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Kate Northrop is a recipient of the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writers Award and fellowships at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. Her recent poetry collections are Clean (Persea Books) and cuntstruck (C and R Press). Northrop is a contributing editor at The American Poetry Review and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Wyoming. She lives in Laramie, WY.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

KATE KEARNS—"TO THE MAN IN LINE FOR TACOS WHO ISN'T BRIAN" (Issue 22)

 TO THE MAN IN LINE FOR TACOS WHO ISN'T BRIAN

 


ABOUT THE POET 

Kate Kearns is a Maine poet with an MFA from Lesley University. Her chapbook, How to Love an Introvert came out through Finishing Line Press in 2015, and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Goose River Anthology, Soliloquies, Literary Mama, Aurora, Gyroscope Review, and other print and online journals. Find her online at KateKearns.com.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

ELIZABETH MARIE YOUNG—"YOUR FASCINATION WITH BEYONCÉ, NASCAR, CRIME AND DEATH" (Issue 22)

YOUR FASCINATION WITH BEYONCÉ, NASCAR, CRIME AND DEATH 

Our complexity, our creeds, our engineers, our shamans,

Our osteoarthritis, our legislative powers, our state troopers, our consent,
Our baby monitors, our tick-borne illnesses, our genetic information,

Our consumer safety reports, our escalating tensions, our irrational behaviors,
Our overwhelming evidence, our diesel-burning trucks,

Our irrigation systems, our decision fatigue, our future reincarnations,
Our skin, our spit, our sweat, our fireflies, our cousins, our gravitational pull,
Our primary care providers, our reusable plastic bags, our fucked-up circadian rhythms,

Our late night talk show hosts, our hypodermic needles, our fluidity, our fear,
Our Pop-Tarts, our inventions, our boss’s counter offers,

Our automatic weapons, our rookies of the year, our cases of bottled water,
Our close and loving bonds, our public broadcasting systems

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Elizabeth Marie Young is a queer, Boston-based poet and classical scholar. She has served as an assistant professor of classics and comparative literature at Wellesley College and a research fellow in Greek and Roman studies at Vassar College. Her poems appear in journals including Jubilat, The Chicago Review, Green Mountains Review, and New American Writing. Her first book of poems Aim Straight at the Fountain and Press Vaporize won the Motherwell Prize from Fence Books. She is also the author of Translation as Muse: Poetic Translation in Catullus’s Rome, a book on ancient Roman lyric translation and notions of literary creativity (University of Chicago Press).

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We’re featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

CLARA TRIPPE—"BAD HABITS ON A NATIONAL LEVEL" (Issue 22)

BAD HABITS ON A NATIONAL LEVEL

The news declares the number of people dead every hour:
they had drowned in their own lungs.         Meanwhile:
flowers across the deserts of the Southwest open
their petals at night to avoid the heat.
They stain landscape
            in ink while inmates in New York are offered
six dollars an hour to dig mass graves. Spring has come, cherry
blossoms escape into the air or else
                    are eaten by green,
all while a virus blooms in white blood cells
across the District. The Met Gala has been canceled;
even those encrusted in diamonds must bow
to someone. The specter of public health hidden in their closet.
Still,     some things will remain holy even in end days:

the divets I chewed into the skin by my fingernails
burn when I touch citrus.         I keep dreaming
            of all the ways we could disappear, and each time
I awake less of us return. Sit cross-legged
at the edge of the grass
            and concrete unrolls from my ankles into a city.
Infant oil spills             coalesce in crevices, promising beauty
but killing my grass. Between two cell phone towers,
light cracks clouds and filters through voicemails,
missed calls,                 bated breath at the other end of the line.
There are tears on my cheek
                                                and I don’t know why.
Once I wished for a world as uncertain as liquid:
the existence of a frog suspended in a jar of formaldehyde. Now,
we are swimming in our own lungs.
            We try desperately to stay dry.


ABOUT THE POET 

Clara Trippe is a Midwest poet who grew up on occupied Chippewa and Ottawa land. She is a graduate of Grinnell College’s English department, and her work has been featured in The Normal School, The Shallow Ends, Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry Press’ Poets Resist feature, and Paperbark Literary Magazine. Clara is a lover of queer theory and freshwater. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @mid_west_dad.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We’re featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.