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



           divination  by means of one’s own soul

I would not notice your faint intrusion, but for the vignette edge
of the landscape, where your face
is an accident without origin.

I see you have been here all along. Let me tell you things
can happen in the years. Last winter a squirrel
died in the cabin
chimney. There is no

single script. Only the last three orders
of breath made before silence. Night has
given me my wide addiction. Under
uncertain laws, in the sleep of no choice, I follow
motivations downward into the sweep

of your pen. Scrawled lights of a new city
wink between rows of tamarisk. The center
of the book is a catastrophe, but
with love there is a lack

of distance. You have led me into the first
threshold of your vision. Jupiter
glows through a ragweed thicket. There is no
body. No sound. You go on without
calculation for the beginning. You go on

under the lowering
of gravity. Most

recent of animals, your lost papers fill
the closet. All afternoon you
constructed snow angels, turning your palms
skyward, but the gesture
of your hands were not holy. Tonight the oncoming
boxcar whistles your unfolding.

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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