poem index

poet

Joan Houlihan

Printer-friendly version

Joan Houlihan is the author of Ay (Tupelo Press, 2014), The Us (Tupelo Press, 2009), The Mending Worm (New Issues Press, 2006), and Hand-Held Executions (Del Sol Press, 2003). She currently teaches in Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program and at Clark University. She lives in Massachusetts.

by this poet

poem

This is regret: or a ferret. Snuffling,
stunted, a snout full of snow.

As the end of day shuffles down
the repentant scurry and swarm—

an unstable contrition is born.
Bend down. Look into the lair.

Where newborn pieties spark and strike
I will make my peace as a low bulb

poem

Your scrunched eye seizes, sizes
me up: pulley-roped palliatives, craft and lies.
Washing my hands in the back, I wonder:
what's a good death?
Of course you held on and I held on to you.
We had married ourselves to a trance.

2
poem
RAG SMELL.  FIRE smell.  Bed blacked.  Bowl. 
The quiet come from living done.
Shadow built the walls, holed and cribbed with light.
Vine felt cracks and fingered in.
Were sky inside 
and what the wind-holes left, a wind.
Ay walk the last. What were floor 
heaves rock and root. 
Flame-eaten walls, rubs of wood