Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Safe; At Home; Matter; Returning from Arizona; Apocrypha

Jane Holland's "Safe" (from her collection Camper Van Blues) describes a bit of sex "in the claustrophobic dark of my car," and concludes with a moment of pity for her lover's sperm, "those pilgrims / barrelling / through vast red tunnels / and wormholes":

Poor things, all the while unaware
of the absence of egg
in those entrancing corridors
or how I pull my dress down afterwards
wet-thighed in the darkness;
smiling, replete.

Shortly after I read that poem, I found a description of conception in Don Share's poem "At Home" (from his collection Squandermania):

... where wine

was drunk and semen flooded
the egg which lodged in the uterus

that built the daughter who greeted
the man and the woman here

And as if that were not enough, a few weeks later I read Sinéad Morrissey's "Matter" (from her collection Through the Square Window), which put another spin on the matter:

And though I know, thanks in part to Pasteur—
to his gauze impediments and penchant
for boiling—how you came to enter,
how you came to roll and hiccup and kick
against the windowless dark, feet to my heart
and skull to the pelvic cradle, I still think
of our lovemaking as a kind of door
to wherever you were, waiting in matter ...

And then a few pages later, "Returning from Arizona" concludes:

like longing for weeks to be sick
to prove the baby's taken,
then failing to find a tonic
for another being's foothold in your person.

As if that were not enough, Morrissey's collection also includes the wonderful "Apocrypha," which begins with her conviction, as a ten year old, that she "would never have children // simply by keeping my underwear on / at night-time," before veering off into the startling image of a woman impregnated by a bullet "still wet from the testicle / of a Roundhead Lieutenant // at the Battle of Marston Moor," and concluding:

What hope was underwear now?
If destiny hovered

with green wings and a stained,
indefatigable purpose

over my bedspread,
I, too, would be done for.

I don't want to do anything more with this collection of poems on conception and non-conception than note them here; I was just struck by the coincidence of reading several of them within a few weeks of each other!

[This was, I just noticed, my 1000th post on my blog!]

No comments: