Gina Evers, Writers' Retreat Fellow

Gina Evers, Writers' Retreat Fellow



how are you doing so I have for you three poems this evening and all of them are from the manuscripts that I'm currently working on which brings together immigrant culture the Western culture queer culture and lets it all play together so this is the first poem in the book and it is called prologue to is shameful in New York my girlfriend comes back to bed hair tall wild and cambridge with wetness the lingering smell of sweet beneath almond and alum I pressed my lips down into the ballast of her grass bed frame rocking like the immigration ship that delivered my mother her labels I have learned the first ships had Spanish Commission's but Cruz thought Frodo was Italian we are good at living in the flat boundaries of Illinois and calling it in the we are good at wearing carnage like a mask to cut Nevada and then tossing it aside easy as discovery in New York my girlfriend leaves for work and I lie in the ocean of her sheets rubbing my clicked and thinking this is the world I have been fantasizing about my entire Midwestern life this is called felling trees behind the sawdust veiled air the screeching and the pounding my grandfather built furniture he couldn't talk English couldn't speak about the war in 12-hour shifts he had pieces of himself in the cupboard knives in the waves of carved wood work like the coast of the Adriatic a home he had lost and then showed away inside an attic trunk now it's in my mother's basement still concealing the framed map of the Istrian Peninsula inside Italian borders after his funeral my leather stacked fingering the leg of an end table she said they didn't tell the soldiers what was going on in the war cameras he was only fighting to keep the farm arrows he was warning for his brothers and his new wife who he wanted to take there to live always pumped up with the scene I remember watching his fingertips yellowed with tobacco tearing through skin and yanking bones from mackerels the fishes seemed eyes shone like sequins as he ripped pieces of flesh and placed them on tomato salty and dry his fingers bitter and the last one is new and it is called after Jackie and Megan retired so I apologize in advance for handing out a bit of the diamond but this was written on the land just this past Tuesday after Jackie and Megan are attacked at the 3 o'clock glassblowing and demonstration in the in Corning New York you are showing off dipping your rod into the color crystals working the iron threatened to brand one of the beauties sitting in the front room what would you like sweetheart a swarm of course she wants this one don't you know that gaffers in Murano have been doing this for centuries how precisely carefully each cane of color is divided into the thinnest ligaments spun together into a mere 9 how they work blind unable to see the middle of your knee until after the cane is sliced into beads a soviet-era will be in the oven up to his elbows documenting each spinning of the glass with flames in his retinas when he pulls back from the fire he will only see his hands working in a world of green aura and fluid dark orbs to make any object any other gene he will wait until the glass consents to an exchange of breath a gift from his lungs for a gift from the earth exempt from persecution by the lion's mouth by the Palazzo Ducale egg and launchers while the rest of Venice cobbled together their fears and judgments and Here I am watching you handle something so we were watching you seventh ablaze watching you break it you let the glass cool too quickly and the violent streak of swans necks snapped as you flicked your einer through the smoke don't worry sweetie you winked there's plenty more where that came from

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