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About this poet

Sarah Mangold was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Kansas and Oklahoma. She received a BA from the University of Oklahoma and an MFA from San Francisco State University.

Mangold is the author of Giraffes of Devotion (Kore Press, 2016), Electrical Theories of Femininity (Black Radish Books, 2015), and Household Mechanics (New Issues, 2002), which was selected by C. D. Wright for the New Issues Poetry Prize.

In the foreword to Household Mechanics, Wright describes the book as “a disquieting review of indirect disclosures, internal churnings, and palpable notions, subjected to a tense and skeletal language.”

Mangold is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Seattle Arts Commission. She lives in Seattle, Washington.


Bibliography

Giraffes of Devotion (Kore Press, 2016)
Electrical Theories of Femininity (Black Radish Books, 2015)
Household Mechanics (New Issues, 2002)

Household Mechanics

He hid in plain sight 
his own highest hopes 
wearing the red scarf

They had rehearsed it 
blue ski parka 
clutch of photographs
the formative event of his childhood 
taken to the railroad station

He maintained a journal 
his real name 
safely stashed in Scarsdale 
Most of the spoken words 
modest wooden houses 
well-ordered chimneys 
The details of the dancing 
in the same pleasant tone 
But his first alcoholic beverage 
turkey with all the trimmings

Then, there's the sound 
your eye right up to the screen
a slight breeze in the back of the house 
the difference between spinning records

Sitting on the porch 
Violet has her suitcase 
in her bouncy way
feeling guilty about the string beans 
and at least for now how she breathes 
as someone always will
This sense of life relatively safe 
the service road everyone secretly knows

And this is not about
her placement as a showgirl 
and then to medical school 
I can't stand those eyes
whipped up and let down 
hundreds of vacant chairs 
taking piano lessons

The agonizing storytelling technique 
of the pencilmakers themselves
Lots of parked cars in the arms of her own home

I'd change my clothes
Assume the weight of tragedy
that a girl makes whose gown seems the awful truth 
The feel of it in these terms
the need to be redeemed in the flesh 
kissing each other's rings

From Household Mechanics by Sarah Mangold. Copyright © 2002 by Sarah Mangold. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press. All rights reserved.

From Household Mechanics by Sarah Mangold. Copyright © 2002 by Sarah Mangold. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press. All rights reserved.

Sarah Mangold

Sarah Mangold

Sarah Mangold is the author of Giraffes of Devotion (Kore Press, 2016). She lives in Seattle, Washington.