The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Erica Mena’s “Featherbone”


Excerpt from 1. More Sky


The featherbone shift, slip shallow wrack, shucked in veinway crush:
Preadatory.     Steelfever body, oily-eyed slit     the featherbone split.
Descent.         In bonesplit crack, in featherslip fuse,     mutation
all blue  all sky  wrench the featherbone   in body ascend.

                                                                                            “There is so much more sky—”

Stripped, slickk and sanguine with the featherbone fuse, liminal
and splash, not end but apparatus masking the crack
of the featherbone. And why not transform in the scorch? Waxblood and sear;
dizzy rip and sweep of air through bone, the feather, the bone.

                                                                                              “—so much more sky—”

The featherbone sought to root. In boneflight, in the featherfall, in asphyxia
the featherbone seeks. Still. The featherbone seeks history and flight,
skinrip and slough already opaque where the featherbone sinks
its point to fleshfallow feed in shallow to marrow to hollow.

                                                                                               “—than land.”

This selection comes from Erica Mena’s book Featherbone, available now from Ricochet Editions. Purchase your copy here!

Erica Mena is a poet, translator, and book artist. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in PANK, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Vanitas, Versal, Two Lines, Words Without Borders, Asymptote, and elsewhere. Her translation of the sci-fi graphic novel The Eternonaut will be available from Fantagraphics in 2015. She is the founding editor and publisher of Anomalous Press, and the managing director of the American Literary Translators Association. She holds MFAs in literary translation and poetry from The University of Iowa and Brown University, respectively.

Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, Chautauqua, Redivider, Rattle, Word Riot, and elsewhere. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.


Leave a Reply