The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: A Net to Catch my Body in its Weaving by Katie Farris

This selection, chosen by Sundress intern Ryleigh Wann, is from A Net to Catch my Body in its Weaving by Katie Farris, released by Beloit Poetry Journal. 

Standing in the Forest of Being Alive

I stand in the forest of being alive:
in one hand, a cheap aluminum pot
of chicken stock and in the other,
a heavy book of titles. O once, walking through
a cemetery I became terribly lost and could not
speak (no one living knows the grammar).
No one could direct me to the grave,
so I looked at every name.
Madness hung out over the gravel paths,
swaying like laundry.

A heavy bird flapped its wings over someone’s
sepulcher. Some of us are still putzes
in death, catching birdshit on our headstones.
Some of us never find what we’re looking for, praying
it doesn’t pour before we find our names; certain
we’re headed in the right direction, a drizzle begins,
and what’s nameless inside our veins
fluoresces, fluoresces in the rain.

Katie Farris’s work appears in American Poetry ReviewGrantaThe Nation, and Poetry, and has been commissioned by MoMA. She is the author of the chapbook A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving, which won the 2020 Chad Walsh Poetry Award from Beloit Poetry Journal, and boysgirls, a hybrid-form book, as well as co-translator of many books of poetry. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Brown University. She is currently Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Georgia Institute of Technology. Standing in the Forest of Being Alive (Alice James Books, 2023) is her first book of poems.

Ryleigh Wann is an MFA poetry candidate at UNC Wilmington. Her past experiences include reading poetry for Ecotone, editing with Lookout Books, teaching creative writing, and working for the Parks and Recreation Department in Michigan. Her writing can be found in Rejection Letters, Flypaper Lit, and Kissing Dynamite Poetry, among others.

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