The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: No Other Rome by Heather Green

This selection, chosen by guest curator and Sundress intern Katherine DeCoste, is from No Other Rome by Heather Green, released by University of Akron Press in 2021. 

A Series of Holes Connected by String

               “When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots,
               we become part of the unity of our environments.”
               —Yayoi Kusama

A net, according to Samuel Johnson:
a series of holes connected by string,

the net of Indra faceted with jewels,
glittering web infinitely reflecting itself
and everything else, history told

by the victors, the story itself
a spoil. Yet the past is not a place.
You can’t go home again, my Dad
so often said. He seemed to know

home as a time; he had been there
in mine. I’ve never yet let go of him
or you because you both were there:
your childhood, mine, epic light-drenched
vacation. The underwater world bright,

coral reefs infinite, and like everything else,
I often made it hard, but the water
reminded me I was no one. Born in the year
of the dog underneath a Sagittarius star,
I’m still a loyal wanderer, but oblivion gets in.
Once I love, it means ruin, but here I scatter

back into the present, bright fatherless regression
of offset mirrors, funny valentines, photographable
gemlike farewell lanterns cast onto the internet,
obliterated into pixels, disseminated
in liquid crystal before our bodies spoil.
I barely remember the islands,
the holes, a world now come to fire and ice.

Heather Green‘s poetry collection No Other Rome was released in March of 2021 (Akron Poetry Series). Her writing has appeared in Bennington Review, Everyday Genius, the New Yorker, and elsewhere. She is the translator of Tristan Tzara’s Noontimes Won (Octopus Books, 2018) and her translations of Tzara’s work have appeared in Asymptote and Poetry International, and are forthcoming in AGNI. Green is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art at George Mason University.

Katherine DeCoste is an MA student at the University of Victoria, on the stolen lands of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples and the WSANEC peoples. Their poems have appeared in Grain Magazine, The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, and elsewhere, and their play “many hollow mercies” won the 2020 Alberta Playwriting Competition Novitiate Prize. When not writing, reading, or answering emails, you can find them baking vegan snacks and forcing their friends to play Dungeons and Dragons.

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