Monday, January 25, 2010

Dear Mr. Logan,

Please find below six poems ("In Tension", "Seeking Seminal Soulmate", "Playing Musical Chairs", "Hunt", "Unveiling the Skin", "Bearings") per your request for inclusion in the Featured Writers section of the Spring issue of (A Brilliant) Record Magazine.

Most of the pieces exceed the 10-line limit stipulated in your listing in 2010 Poets Market. Please let me know if these meet your expectations or if you would prefer a selection of alternates from which to make further choices.

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am thrilled to join in this venture with you.

Best regards,

Janann Dawkins


In Tension


She thinks the neck is so special
then considers what it is: the vaunt
of the body, evolutionarily
sound. Windpipe, jugular,
vertebrae. Highway of veins.
Cross-sections. Fibres. The way
a yell comes out, makes itself plain,
splats against a wall. Then, by extension,

she thinks of the regular
wheeze and sighs of her aunt,
whose throat had eerily
decompressed to the bone, a mansion
of cells rock-hard and interstitial.
She thinks of ineluctable things yet to say.


Seeking Seminal Soulmate


She wipes and finds a Rorschach of blood, a red-feathered dove
in a paper-white sky, and ponders another wasted child,
microscopic, honeycombed in sanitary crevices. Another moon,
another flood lines the white islet with sanguinous silt.
She surrenders her tissue to a redolent sea, saltwater slicked
by sunset, and considers, after folding her napkin,
flotsam on the crest of a wave.


Playing Musical Chairs


The wait to hand me off. I consider saying--
je ne sais quoi. It shouldn't be like this:

two women with miles of wire running
under the earth, two women with a brother-

husband between them. It should be ice cream,
the kind your children, my nieces,

will soon swallow. Wish them happy birthday
I inhale to speak, but even those words

stitch to the tongue. Background
squeals heighten our silence,

our laughter at eavesdropped hi-jinks
a sad exchange. My mention of your new job

resembles a noisemaker; your rejoinder
sounds the same: we choose

our stances carefully. Beyond our coil, I hear
that voice over the galloping gaggle, announcing

the rules for two girls in the same seat.
He has to start the music again.

Hunt


They spotted the leg chains
shining in a January snowbank
speckled with mud. The Os
reflected alternating blue
and red against the metal skyline.

Nearby lay the roadblock.
Cars crept through the serpentine,
drivers second-shifters
who'd no idea an orange jumpsuit
was loose in the area

catercorner to the county jail,
probably bobbing in the evergreens
of a notorious complex--probably
from where he spawned. Perhaps he felt
like a salmon, cursing the steady stream

of officers and reporters, eddies
rerouting his escape. Above,
helicopters sought brilliant prey.

Unveiling the Skin


Plucking was backwards
braiding: the twillish feathers
thick between the fingers,
quilled like plastic embedded in hair--
white hair, as though an elder’s head
in the grip of a gallant marauder.
My hands hooked through, black
among a flock of white, slaves
culling tufts of cotton.
I pinched the headless leghorn
between my knees, pricking skin
into existence: bald abrasions,
pinkness stripped by will
and wrist. My shadow loomed.
This girl would be nude by sunset.

Bearings


Appalachian, absolutely
not. Nothing, not nearly
anywhere as where we are.
We stand on nothing, where

tribes stepped footprints
into trails. Trial and error,
weed wires snag ankles
like botanical traps