Poeta EE.UU. Nacida y criada en Nueva Jersey, Mary Meriam obtuvo un BA de la Universidad de Bennington y MFA de la Universidad de Columbia. Es la autora de cinco libros de poemas, entre ellos Conjuring My Leafy Muse (Headmistress Press, 2013) and Girlie Calendar (Headmistress Press, 2014) y los Chapbooks The Countess of Flatbroke (Modern Metrics/Exot Books, 2006), The Poet’s Zodiac (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011), and Word Hot (Headmistress Press, 2013).
Editó la antología, Irresistible Sonnets (Headmistress Press, 2014), and Lady of the Moon (with Amy Lowell and Lillian Faderman) (Headmistress Press, 2015).
Sus poemas han aparecido en 12 antologías, incluyendo más recientemente, Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Penguin Random House, 2015). Her poetry, prose, and reviews have appeared in Adrienne, American Arts Quarterly, American Life in Poetry, Angle, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Bridges, Cimarron Review, Eyewear, Journal of Lesbian Studies, KIN, Light, Literary Imagination, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, Ms. Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, OCHO, Poetry Northeast, Rattle, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, The Critical Flame, The Evansville Review, The Gay & Lesbian Review, and The New York Times. New poems are forthcoming in Prelude and The Women's Review of Books. A new chapbook of poems, The Lesbian, is forthcoming from Seven Kitchens Press.
ROMANCE DE LA EDAD MEDIA
Ahora que tengo cincuenta años, déjame ducharme
por la noche, sin luz, con los ojos cerrados. Y déjame nadar
furtivamente. Mi piel está tatuada con horas
y días y décadas, de cabeza a los pies, de tan fina
es sólo una fotografía descolorida. Es extraño
cómo la gente mira hacia otro lado a quien antes admiraba.
No sabía que me sometería a este cambio
para ser la cubierta invisible de un libro
cuyo argumento, aunque banal, le proporciona más volumen.
Por los placeres de la mente y el corazón
se llega a contrarrestar más rápido la pérdida
de conocimiento. Uno siente que reviven antiguas urgencias,
aunque todavía me arranco los pelos de la barbilla con una pinza,
en el caso de que pudiera llamar la atención de otro anciano.
Versión de Carlos Alcorta
The Romance of Middle Age
Now that I’m fifty, let me take my showers
at night, no light, eyes closed. And let me swim
in cover-ups. My skin’s tattooed with hours
and days and decades, head to foot, and slim
is just a faded photograph. It’s strange
how people look away who once would look.
I didn’t know I’d undergo this change
and be the unseen cover of a book
whose plot, though swift, just keeps on getting thicker.
One reaches for the pleasures of the mind
and heart to counteract the loss of quicker
knowledge. One feels old urgencies unwind,
although I still pluck chin hairs with a tweezer,
in case I might attract another geezer.
Plaintive Note Motel
Mother, are you lonely? I hear you sigh, then
moan in steady beats while you sleep beside me,
wounded moans, some tragedy never told me
strangling your song-pipe.
Breath by breath, the moaning of Mother reddens,
death by drugs, flushed fugue, how she suffers sigh-sick
groans, while I, as always her daughter-stranger,
ride my red wagons,
twist and trickle down on my twin slim bed in
Plaintive Note Motel, where we stay to witness
Kenny’s wedding. Marriage, was that the trouble?
Moaning, my mother’s
stone unturned; a shot in the dark, my guesses.
Burned is Mother’s everyday state, her fury
blackness brushes by on my rising nowhere,
faster and faster.
Beginning with a Line by Robert Frost
They spoke to the fugitive in my heart as if it were leaf to leaf.
They spoke to me one windy day from the copse nearby my house.
Low in the night they rustled to thief and owl and addict and mouse.
Let me be deaf to the crash of trouble and the mighty underworld.
The pile of rotten branches and gold leaves lies there dead and swirled.
It would take every court in the countryside to count the fallen leaves.
The judges must number themselves among the dirt-thirsty thieves.
I live in a room of cold-toed winter glowing with no relief.
Wandering silent, muttered about, I move from grief to grief.
Mother, a wolf is wolfing me
Down. I thought I had a mother
But now I'm being wolfed. See?
Mother, a wolf is wolfing me
Down, your baby one sweet pea
Bit by hot teeth. I want another
Mother. A wolf is wolfing me
Down. I thought I had a mother.
Thought in a Heat Wave
The words, the books, the strain,
the loneliness, the pain,
the beast of woe, the lion roar,
it doesn't matter anymore
because I have a thought,
tamed, soothed, caught:
the poetry I said to you,
the lines that led to you,
the arteries around my heart,
the words I read to you,
the breath and rhymes, the breathing in,
the us not dead to you,
the dancing of you in my dreams;
I could be wed to you;
my loveline veering off my palm
could go, instead, to you;
your jewel burning in my mind,
your brilliant cry, so kind,
your evening sky of cobalt blue,
yes, I think of you
and I together in one place,
with time and room to sigh,
and moved by magic to embrace
the body, you and I.
Three Crowns of Misfortune
Down the tawny, blood-red, and orange cast-offs
fall, like fairies tossing their crinkled clothing,
party-worn and faded in golden slants of
all the Loves undone with her frock come falling,
dress undresssed, unbuttoned, unzipped, Misfortune,
barefoot, rootless, stripped of her silver tree bark,
shivers for strangers.
Not for strangers! Pitiless Love with velvet
gloves demands this stripping of leaf and costume,
downward dancing, falling forever, falling,
Wait for nothing, wait for the Loves, what matter
night that gallops, tramples her roses, horses,
wildmares, slung here fruitless and starved, Misfortune
slips on the cliff’s edge,
falls and falls with no one to catch her, over
rock face, street lamp, oceans apart from comfort,
mother, sister, lover; she sighs now, listen:
love is unlikely.
Melancholic silkiness, cobalt, Loves hum
blue, the sidewalk saddens in Spanish Harlem
drums at dusk, at midnight, then morning traffic
trumpets her shortfall.
Through the elms and ginkgos, alert to all her
listing, shrinking, deviance, sunk tomorrow,
no tomorrow ever, for sorrow’s lonely
arrows transfix her.
This is dark desertion, and silent, bitter
cold. She sits alone in the automobile,
waiting. Danger shoots her. The Loves go quickly
somewhere without her.
Now the wheel is seized by some force outside her.
Death will drop her over the bridge. Misfortune,
desperate, poisoned, jinxed, a forgotten fire,
fights like a soldier.
Somewhere Along the Spectrum
(for Tiffany Krupa)
I take a class in feminine approach.
I hold my breath about my boyish clothes.
There is a subject I’m afraid to broach,
and for this fear I’m granted one red rose.
She smells so good, I wonder what she knows.
We leave the class together, go downtown
and dance. The beat goes fast and then it slows
until the slowness seeps inside and down.
Down to the dancing floor I fall and drown.
The dancers strip me clean of every shred
of gown and every penny in my crown.
I leave the Duchess, bleeding from the head,
naked and blind to nakedness, a mist
below the radar of the feminist.