Saturday Jan 19

Coles-Poetry Katharine Coles’ fifth poetry collection, Reckless, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2013. Recent poems have appeared in Gettysburg Review, Crazyhorse, Image, and Best Spiritual Writing 2011, among other journals and anthologies. She teaches at the University of Utah, where she co-directs the Utah Symposium in Science and Literature. In 2010, Coles traveled to Antarctica on a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. In 2009-10, she served as the Inaugural Director of the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute.

for Cindy Furse
No woman’s poem diminishes me.
The men’s poems I’ll take
One at a time. No poem ever took the space
Meant for another poem. No poem ever
Forced me to listen. There’s no theory
I wouldn’t surrender for a line, no line
I wouldn’t cast out for a nibble. I’ve never
Believed in art or its purity. I would believe
If believing wrote a poem. What good
Would it do me to insist? The world is
Its own machine. The world turns
And turns again, and then the world decides.
“Untitled Self-Portrait”
About today’s self, there is altogether
Too much talk. This is, of course,
Opinion. Mine, yours: it hardly matters
What we call it. Subjectivity fritters the air,
Twaddles and cheeps, prettied faces
Whizzing past at light speed. Mine too. I can’t
Help what’s true. You are going places,
If only to extremes. You’ll go to any end
You can’t escape, will stand
Only for so long to be swallowed
Whole, craw-stuck, before you must begin
Filling the place with your ideas. I know all
You think of sky and shadow. Speak
For yourself, you tell me. Quack. Quack.