The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Maureen Alsop’s “Mantic”

Maureen Alsop

Dendromancy, Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit

            divination by means of leaves and branches of oak

A lark-blue wakeling is the furnace’s doctrine of visible richness. It is that
which I fear when the ceiling bears down. My mind’s

withholding is motion alone

like the whole shadow of a blown star. I have reread my love
times and times, the purple tendering, a weird brilliance
beyond the driveway’s flowering iris. I suppose

it’s where the body’s warmth is kept. At least
through the flare of one empire’s duration. When the last border
of the soul was predicted, you arrived,

a child thing yourself, I asked you, out of whose dream
did your tiny god disperse, burning
your fortune’s immensity? Might you
step outward whispering, I saw you. Might you name
the woods anew, stand in a thicket
among the unburnt pine
searching the distance granted
by your dominion. First you,
then you.

I have let home your dead. Let
snow loosen, glitter the earth.

This selection comes from Maureen Alsop’s book of poetry Mantic, available from Augury Books. Purchase your copy here!

Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of several poetry collections including Appartion Wren, Mantic, Later, Knives & Trees, and Mirror Inside Coffin (forthcoming).

Marika von Zellen has a BA in English and Creative Writing from Cornell College (no, not the one in Ithaca). She’s had poetry and fiction published in Open Field, Temporary Infinity, The Grin City Monthly, and the anthology Rock & Roll Saved My Soul. As an Editorial Assistant for Sundress, she’s copy-edited the book Picture Dictionary (2014); as a freelance editor she copy-edited the photography book Face It (2013). In the summer of 2012, she attended the Grin City Collective Artist Residency in Iowa. Besides writing, she enjoys theoretical physics, playing piano, ghost-hunting, climbing trees, and drinking good Czech beer. She’s also a scholar of Lewis Carroll.


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