Wednesday Jun 19

ComptonShanna Shanna Compton' s books include Brink (Bloof, 2013), For Girls & Others (Bloof, 2008), Down Spooky (Winnow, 2005), Gamers (Soft Skull, 2004), and several chapbooks. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in, Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, Court Green, the Awl, PoemFlow/, and elsewhere. Her website can be found here.


     True Story Sonnet (1)

     Back when my pawpaw was the pastor
     the joint was named Stampede Baptist Church
     in a little town called Moody, a name that fit.
     Then he fell in love with another woman and left
     to get a divorce. The citizens of Moody
     dropped their jaws and plenty of opinion
     fell out. He never quit loving firecrackers,
     the kind we blew up on the 4th of July. Maybe
     the other kind too. They stayed together until
     he died, a failure of his heart, and we kept visiting her
     until she died too, a decade later, still wearing his ring.
     Mamaw never spoke of her that I recall. Run
     over there now, he’d say, laughing and lighting the fuses
     on a bunch at once. This one’s gonna really wow you.

     True Story Sonnet (2)

     He had given me a necklace I think.
     I held it fast-tight through a lull
     in the ozone. Later, night came on
     like the end of a film, not at all what we
     expected, black-rimmed and absent
     like holidays feel unreal because
     they’re so different from the best days,
     and all the people are different people,
     in different clothes.We even use
     different plates, supposedly better ones. 
     What’s the point of that? When I was a kid,
     the lady next door used to unpack her daisy-
     pattern wedding china and serve a meal on it
     before pretending to kill herself again.

     Glyphs & Special Characters

     I celebrate the tanginess of your gruntly curves,
     amorphous, as sweetly mispronounced
     as the hush of pampas. I enthuse about you.
     Watch me rotate it with this toggle made
     of syllables. I want to be accommodating,
     concise as water. When you don your armor,
     shiny as a Corvette, I ping all over the place;
     I chew faster and with a bawdy smack.
     The days you’re gone waver like goldenrod savannahs
     replete with polecats instead of the big tawny ones.
     Am I imposing again, repositing the denim fantasy,
     the one we’ve mocked of all its flavor?
     Wring it again. The optics are still pristine,
     the audio sharp as architecture.