Download An Individual History: Poems by Michael Collier PDF

By Michael Collier

An person History describes the fears, anger, and guilt—personal, familial, societal, political, and historical—that include a existence. The determine of the speaker’s maternal grandmother who was once institutionalized for 5 many years serves as an overriding metaphor for this haunting, daring new paintings through an important American poet.

from “An person History

This used to be sooner than the time of lithium and Zoloft

before temper stabilizers and anxiolytics

and just about all the psychotropic medications, yet no longer before


which the suicide O’Laughlin known as “handcuffs for the


It used to be prior to, in the course of, and after the time of atomic


Auschwitz, the Nakba, DDT, and also you may well take water


find solace in quarantines, perform shunnings,

or stand at Lourdes one of the canes and crutches.

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Extra resources for An Individual History: Poems

Sample text

We utter love songs, blessings, soft lullabies and curses croon nursery rhymes, Gregorian chants and hot Satanic verses. And we Submit to Walt. ) John Donne, e e cummings, William Blake and Butler Yeats. And we Submit to Walt. We cultivate our darkness while we celebrate our light Fall half in love with easeful death and rage against the Night. And we Submit to Walt. Each Earthly thing is holy Each second, Heaven—or a Hell Each lady is a Goddess Could we see beneath Her shell Each man a living Buddha And so we might as well Submit to Walt.

No animal joins that rat race Crawling to its job in stinking metal box. No animal works to outfox life Worming every possible drop of joy from the lucky fact of sex. No animal wolfs down drugs and high technology To weasel its way out of the contract Life long ago signed with Mister Death. Without house insurance Each animal raises young In its nest. Without car insurance Each animal takes life As it comes. Without health insurance Each animal faces death Like a man. PRAISE TO ICHTHOS Ichthos, Ichthos, wet and salty Ichthos, Ichthos, Queen of Fishes Ichthos, Ichthos, Miracle Mollusk Ichthos, Ichthos, grant my wishes Praise Eve, the ancient Mother of us all Praise Mary: Magdalene and Mother of Jesus Praise Jezebel, Lilith, Sheba, Babylon's Holy Whore Now worship glistening Ichthos on your kneeses Praise the Holy Source of Nourishment Honor Hathor, Egypt's Sacred Cow Praise Her Milk, Her Breasts, Her Udders And press your lips to sticky Ichthos now Praise the Serpent in the Garden Honor Golden Calf and Golden Bough Worship Nature's every bump and aperture And kiss the sacred slit of Ichthos now Ichthos, Ichthos, wet and salty Ichthos, Ichthos, Queen of Fishes Ichthos, Ichthos, Miracle Mollusk Ichthos, Ichthos, grant my wishes Fear not She's always cared for you (She always will) Live strong and boldly in the Here and Now Praise Pleasure, Life and every Trace of Goddess Lick Ichthos please; lick Ichthos now Lick Ichthos, yes lick Ichthos, lick Ichthos now Lick Ichthos, yes lick Ichthos, lick Ichthos now.

Elbow-deep in grape pulp and skins We pack the steel press rim-full Attach and latch four heavy iron doors Jack up the crusher sluice Back away the truck. The whole press spins like a cement mixer While black air-inflated rubber bladder inside Squeezes out juices Thru perforated stainless steel hull Into drain trough below Thick dripping essence-density-tested for sugar Then sucked into wine pump Pushed along intestine-resembling transparent plastic hose Into thousand-gallon storage tank Wedged behind Ahlgren's barrel-packed cellar Where billion-year-old enzymes Inside invisible one-celled minds Pagan yeast, like Jesus at Cana Turn water into wine.

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