The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Marilyn McCabe’s “Perpetual Motion”


Signs of Passerines

I try not to think. All the things I’ve left behind.
My name on a white page, clack of my words clattering down.
The window: taking it apart. The center.
I did not have to throw all
my belongings in a box.
(Only small dreams.)
The god of wisdom is the patron of
metalsmiths, musicians, and sailors.
Beauty’s long etymology tells us only
that we’ve long thought the lovely good:
Small though it will be in poetry form:
gratitude pressed thin and broad like a sail.

This selection comes from Marilyn McCabe’s book Perpetual Motion, available from The Word Works. Purchase your copy here!

Marilyn McCabe’s poem “On Hearing the Call to Prayer Over the Marcellus Shale on Easter Morning” was awarded A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize, fall 2012, and appeared in the Los Angeles Review. Her book of poetry Perpetual Motion was published by The Word Works in 2012 as the winner of the Hilary Tham Capitol Collection contest (available from Small Press Distribution, Her work has appeared in literary magazines such as Nimrod, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly, French translations and songs on Numero Cinq, and a video-poem on The Continental Review.  She blogs about writing and reading at

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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