The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Stephanie Erdman, is from Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi, released by New Meridian Arts in 2021. 

Imposing its Rust on Everything

The rain gutters and the sharpness
of words, I fear their rust will eat away
at whatever was said or offered and so
it will always be that way and then
I will know it is but a whisper or a
spoken phrase that perhaps makes
all the difference. Today is Mother’s Day,
and I wish for Audrey and her Jameson’s,
the yellow polyester dress she wore in the photo
where I cut into an adult party
of ashtrays and celery, filled
with pimentos and cream cheese.
I think of choices I have made,
and that all of them were, at best, a 50-50
prospect shot. There is no ours unless
we are at play. No one person
can carry the load. And it was always
explained to me that the universe is like
a beach ball and when it drops
someone lets go.

Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of three poetry collections, including Only More So (Salmon Poetry, Ireland), Injuring Eternity, and Through a Grainy Landscape. Among her awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright, CantoMundo, the California Arts Council, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Covid grant), Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana (Portugal), and the Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.” She lives in Topanga, California.

Stephanie L. Erdman graduated Purdue University and received her master’s degree through Indiana University. Her first poetry collection, Pyrrhonic, is available through Dos Madres Press and her second collection, Sankhara, is upcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press. Stephanie describes her style as anything with music and novelty. Stephanie lives in Northwest Indiana and works as a professor of English, editor, and professional tutor. She lives in Benton Harbor, Michigan with her dog, cat, 18 chickens, a transient partner, and persistent impostor syndrome.


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