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Joyelle McSweeney

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Joyelle McSweeney

Joyelle McSweeney received her BA from Harvard, MPhil from Oxford University, and MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. She is the author of nine books, including three poetry collections, most recently Percussion Grenade: Poems and Plays (Fence Books, 2012). She is the cofounder of Action Books and a professor of English and director of the creative writing program at the University of Notre Dame. 

by this poet



I’m the matron-king of hell
In yoga pants and a disused bra for a laurel
& shatter the scene inside your simmering year
Like a ransom scene filmed through shattered transom
I smear in my glamour
I make as if
to justify the ways of God to man
That’s my ticket in
That’s why God lets me speak here
Makes derangéd love
To the muddy hill. Shoots of green knocked sideways
On a factory floor. Next to the stopflood
Retaining wall, sprung rhythm.  Just as
A center for Islamic banking
Furls green writing like a blooming branch across the screen, visible 
Pop-up ad of the market or 
green fuse. In a wiry flash,