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About this poet

Paisley Rekdal is the author of Animal Eye (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012), winner of the 2013 UNT Rilke Prize for Poetry; The Invention of the Kaleidoscope (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007); Six Girls without Pants (Eastern Washington University, 2002); and A Crash of Rhinos (University of Georgia Press, 2000), winner of the University of Georgia Press’ Contemporary Poetry Series Award. She is the recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among others. She teaches at the University of Utah.

Intimacy

How horrible it is, how horrible
that Cronenberg film where Goldblum's trapped

with a fly inside his Material
Transformer: bits of the man emerging

gooey, many-eyed; bits of the fly
worrying that his agent's screwed him–

I almost flinch to see the body later
that's left its fly in the corner, I mean

the fly that's left its body, recalling too
that medieval nightmare, Resurrection,

in which each soul must scurry
to rejoin the plush interiors of its flesh,

pushing through, marrying indiscriminately
because Heaven won't take what's only half:

one soul blurring forever
into another body.

If we can't know the boundaries between ourselves
in life, what will they be in death,

corrupted steadily by maggot,
rain or superstition, by affection

that depends on memory to survive?
People should keep their hands to themselves

for the remainder of the flight: who needs
some stranger's waistline, joint

problems or insecurities? Darling,
what I love in you I pray will always stay

the hell away from me.

From Animal Eye by Paisley Rekdal. Copyright © 2012 by Paisley Rekdal. Reprinted with permission of University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.

From Animal Eye by Paisley Rekdal. Copyright © 2012 by Paisley Rekdal. Reprinted with permission of University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.

Paisley Rekdal

Paisley Rekdal

Paisley Rekdal is the author of Animal Eye (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012), The Invention of the Kaleidoscope (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), Six Girls without Pants (Eastern Washington University, 2002), and A Crash of Rhinos (University of Georgia Press, 2000).

by this poet

poem
unveil themselves in dark.
They hang, each a jagged,

silken sleeve, from moonlit rafters bright
as polished knives. They swim

the muddled air and keen
like supersonic babies, the sound

we imagine empty wombs might make
in women who can’t fill them up.

A clasp, a scratch, a sigh.
They drink fruit dry.

And
poem

A man can cry, all night, your back
shaking against me as your mother
sleeps, hooked to the drip
to clear her kidneys from their muck
of sleeping pills. Each one white
as the snapper’s belly I once watched a man
gut by the ice bins in his truck, its last 
bubbling grunt cleaved in

2
poem

I'm no moaning bluet, mountable
linnet, mumbling nun. I'm
tangible, I'm gin. Able to molt
in toto, to limn. I'm blame and angle, I'm
lumbago, an oblate mug gone notable,
not glum. I'm a tabu tuba mogul, I'm motile,
I'm nimble. No gab ennui, no bagel bun-boat: I'm one
big mega-ton