Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lizzie Hutton: blind no more

Working at the Sweetland Writing Center, I get to work with a lot of really amazing writers. At least, we all get our paycheck from the same place. Mostly we sit in our own offices and work with students and don't interact that much with each other. Which means some of the folks I work with - okay, most - I don't really know at all. Hell, I might even have something in common with them, yet remain oblivious. But how does one get to know one's coworkers without resorting to stalking?

Why, the departmental newsletter, of course! If such a thing weren't published, I'd be forced to break into my coworkers' homes and go through their drawers and cupboards in order to find out that, say, they're really good poets.

Take Lizzie Hutton, for example. From the Sweetland newsletter, I learned that she's a poet. I knew she was smart and nice, but smart and nice are a dime a dozen. Smart and nice poets, on the other hand, are a rare thing. She's also a poet that journals actually publish, unlike me. But hey, while I wait for an acceptance (and it will come. I've seen Field of Dreams. Okay, I actually haven't seen Field of Dreams but I know the basic plot), I can be happy about the fact that really good poems like this are being published:
1992 (Nachtlied)

And then sex sometimes felt like a clenched horse refusing.
Some dark-in-me dragged stiff-hoofed down a back city street,

to be heaved at a doorstep, "release."
A tall townhouse.
I lay on the stone gazing at its shut door.

And it's just another story
of the self and itself. And looking back
I feel most tender for the bridled, bucking part,

what struggled to dislodge
her sour metal bit as if trying to shake off
her own tongue and jaw.

But the other—the me with her grip on the muzzle—
my heart sometimes thickens to her,

how she forced this struggling pelt
through the gates
of the city, down cobblestones, bloodied with forcing.

The threats of my breaker, archaic and weird.
The crazed of my broken. But listen—

beyond that shut door, I sensed heaven, peace, riches—
and you, love, appeared only briefly.

Watching you watching, I thought we'd get in,

but you came, cold starlight, to lead us away.

(Lizzie Hutton, from the Spring 2008 issue (#34) of Harvard Review)

Though I don't know. I think I like her poem "STOP and look around" better.

I'm kidding. She didn't write that. I don't think.

1 comment:

ez said...

wow. i really like that poem. the first stanza is killer. & i'm super hard to impress.