Craig Morgan Teicher was born in 1979 and received an MFA from Columbia University in 2005. He is the author of To Keep Love Blurry (BOA Editions, 2012) and Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems (Center for Literary Publishing, 2008), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry. Also the author of Cradle Book (BOA Editions, 2010), a collection of stories and fables, Teicher is a literary critic, and his essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications. He currently serves as the director of digital operations at Publishers Weekly and as a poetry editor of The Literary Review. He teaches at The New School and New York University and lives in New Jersey with his wife, the poet Brenda Shaughnessy, and their children.
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I feel like Emily Dickinson did, running her pale finger over each blade of grass, then caressing each root in the depths of the earth's primeval dirt, each tip tickling heaven's soft underbelly. I feel like Emily alone in her room, her hands folded neatly in her lap, waiting forever for one of those two daguerreotypes to embalm her precious soul.
At my most attuned, the present is a pair of wings stretching forever in all directions, flapping calmly, calmly flapping. But as soon as I notice how happy I am, how close to the sun, there I go plummeting into the background of the same damn painting as ever.
If I could reach my hand out to you now, would you take it? How do you think it would feel? Warm and soft and certain? Or like Emily's: clammy and brittle as hardened paste? Is that not how you imagine her hands? Look again—they were like that, otherwise she could never, would never, have written those poems.
|About this poem:|
"This poem comes from a series of prose poems about 'big ideas' written during a period when I was having trouble writing. To get the juices flowing again, I thought I'd try starting with titles, with big abstract concepts, and see where they led. They ended up leading to a handful of pieces like this, which will be published in a chapbook from Omnidawn later this year."
Craig Morgan Teicher