poem index

About this poet

Michael Teig was born and raised in 1968 in Franklin, Pennsylvania.

He holds a BA in English from Oberlin College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

His first book, Big Back Yard (BOA Editions, 2003), was selected by Stephen Dobyns to receive the inaugural A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize.

He is a founding editor of jubilat, a twice-yearly international poetry journal. Teig currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he works as a freelance writer and editor.

 

Excluded from Frescoes

Michael Teig
Thank you for the gift. Never have I seen
a more thoughtful tea-strainer.
For you I'm striking a silent movie pose.

For instance, I step out and take in the moon
like a tourist. It puts tiny gloves on the ferns.
It's bigger than life size.

I've a room here just for sitting. If I want
I fetch some music to slap me around. I've three other rooms--
in this way the house resembles a cow's stomach.

I have the feeling we'll be excluded from frescoes
despite the fitful way you loved me, Alice,
I'm confident we're finally on our own.

If I need to think of you and I do
I let telephone wires paraphrase the landscape
till there's just a city block, a sooty building,

you settled into a chair with your legs and hair up
and your face adjusting to that new weather
right after the TV's been turned off. Hello.

Just past the hill here is the truckstop
borealis. This is Barkeyville.
Maybe we could argue over ice cream.

From Big Back Yard by Michael Teig, published by BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2003 by Michael Teig. Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher. All rights reserved.

Michael Teig

Michael Teig

Michael Teig was born in 1968 and raised in western Pennsylvania. He

by this poet

poem
I could stay here humming
and amuse myself with the window.

The lowing cows you cannot see.
Another month I made up. Another asterisk.

How I wrestle with the newspaper
and other people's pillows.

How I think of Albert,
for he is like the names of the days.

He walks the field
kicking a potato,
dreaming of
poem
When he couldn't sleep and his sight got going
he noted the colors on the back of each painting;

this one forest blue, that gunpowder,
one blue to make the yellow tell,
and one bluer than that.

Certain nights only the rain will have 
its say, troubling the downspout.

When morning came
he chose a white shirt
(